Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly 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 hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills during an energy audit to figure 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out 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. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close 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 call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Indoor Comfort Systems HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Indoor Comfort Systems HVAC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Croydon with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.