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 conditions, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying 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 excessive moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for 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, 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Mayeuxs AC & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Mayeuxs AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Norco and St. Charles Parish with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.