Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing 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 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 compared to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out 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 beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad 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 bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire 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 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look 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, call the HVAC pros at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.