Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people suffering from 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 showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Stuart 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 you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Breathe Healthier Air 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 pros at Breathe Healthier Air today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Stuart with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.