Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous 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 swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This can 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 beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Circleville to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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 spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Circleville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.