Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to complete 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 custom 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 previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine 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 improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting 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 versus other similar homes in their area. 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 is a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people suffering from 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 prospective 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 thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general 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. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact TopTec for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at TopTec today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.