Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out 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 learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause 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 Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing 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 possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 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 increase the 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 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Precision Mechanical for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Precision Mechanical today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.