Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate 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 existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
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 leaking, it can cause 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 expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades 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 via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself 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 flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 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, call the HVAC pros at Air Concepts of Middle Georgia today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.