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 severe weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more 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 review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer 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 good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes 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
Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired 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 performing an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near 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.
- 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 check 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, contact the HVAC professionals at Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.