Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring 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 key elements.
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 go through previous energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often supply 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 is a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find 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, leading to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Mechanicsburg to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find 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 look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact H & H Service Company 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 professionals at H & H Service Company today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Mechanicsburg with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.