Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to 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 uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review 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 might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
A few 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after 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 Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Milledgeville and Middle Georgia to inspect your system.
- Check 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 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.
- Examine 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 inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Concepts of Middle Georgia for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Air Concepts of Middle Georgia today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Milledgeville and Middle Georgia with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.