Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional 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 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 go through past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted 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 replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of 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 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 might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 Temple/Belton to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Bell Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Bell Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Temple/Belton with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.