Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills during 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 swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Comprehensive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing 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 can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly 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 much faster or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look 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 close to 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Kilbourne Heating & AC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Kilbourne Heating & AC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.