Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out 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 suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, such as 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.
- 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 spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Miller Climate Control LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out 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 with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.