Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed 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 might include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense 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 as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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, such as along the edge of flooring and close to 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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