Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also known 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Derby with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.