Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Troy to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Examine insulation. If your home is older, it could mean your insulation is too. If you can see the joists, you likely need more insulation.
- Check ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Edington Heating & Cooling Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Troy with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.