Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up 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 figure out where energy is being used 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 may include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose 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 determine 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. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often provide 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 can be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Georgetown to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around 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 functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Miller Climate Control LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Miller Climate Control LLC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Georgetown with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.