Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, repeatedly 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 insufficient insulation.

One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform 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 advantages.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning 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 will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding 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 hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Western Mechanical, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Western Mechanical, Inc. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Cache Valley with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.