Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills during 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 recommending energy-efficient improvements, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning 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 leaking air, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer 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 bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company 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, like along the edge of flooring and near 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 check 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 professionals at Air Concepts of Middle Georgia today. We’ve proudly served the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
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