Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good 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 air, it could lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in West Jefferson to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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 West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of West Jefferson with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.