Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including 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 benefits.
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 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive 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, local energy companies often offer 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 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health problems, especially for people suffering from 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 possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire 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 there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Covington Air Systems for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Covington Air Systems today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Covington with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.