Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills while completing 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 exchanging your existing 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 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. Some assessments may also include checking 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 compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local 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 in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great 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 learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 in Delray Beach 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 you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks around 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Kilbourne Heating & AC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Kilbourne Heating & AC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Delray Beach with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.