Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might 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 area. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Kutztown and Breinigsville to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Moyer Total Indoor Comfort for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Kutztown and Breinigsville with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.