Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to perform 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure 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 could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many 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 can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect 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 experts at Mayeuxs AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.