Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete 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 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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands 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 determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is 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 spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact GV Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at GV Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.