Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to figure out 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 understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting 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 may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people suffering from 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 Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer 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 call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Arlington 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 is a draft, including 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Arlington with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.