Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing 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 completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including 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 tough for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often provide 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 good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because 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 changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, 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 Logan 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 is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to 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 functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Western Mechanical, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Western Mechanical, Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Logan with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.