Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to perform 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 benefits.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.

The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include inspecting 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

Several 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 up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people dealing with 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 demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Athol with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.