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 severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to 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 consumes 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 overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive 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 inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Savage to inspect your system.
- Check 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 could be a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near 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.
- 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Savage with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.