Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, 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 to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Cooler Tymes LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Cooler Tymes LLC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.