Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, consistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a comprehensive 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 while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging 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 will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer 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 is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile 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 can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 look for air leaks in the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Inspect 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Fairfield Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Fairfield Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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