Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to figure out 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 suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 find out 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. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks 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 good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing 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 damaged, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve 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 as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster 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 on your own will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 Plover to inspect your system.
- Look for 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 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Point 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 professionals at Point Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Plover with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.