Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, including 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 be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea 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 call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Lawrence to inspect your system.
- Check 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, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks along 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 working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Scott Temperature for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Scott Temperature today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Lawrence with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.