Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more 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 up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being used 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 can include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing 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 will perform 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. Exhaustive assessments could 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 compared 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly 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 decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and excess strain 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Marshfield 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 you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact House of Heating Incorporated for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at House of Heating Incorporated today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Marshfield with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.