Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete 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 benefits.
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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during 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 renovations, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, 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 much faster or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Try 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 increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Norco and St. Charles Parish 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 you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Mayeuxs AC & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Mayeuxs AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Norco and St. Charles Parish with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.