Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to figure out 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of 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 figure 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. Comprehensive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense 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 hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 the ventilation. Ensure 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 determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Miller Climate Control LLC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Georgetown with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.