Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert 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 benefits.
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 past energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. 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 could be a great starting point to determine 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 understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Crestview 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, including along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Gordon Air Conditioning 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 Gordon Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Crestview with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.