Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing 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 figure out 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. Some assessments may also include reviewing 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 supply 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 is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via 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 exacerbate health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 call a reputable HVAC company in Middletown 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 you can find a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact SchagrinGAS Company for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at SchagrinGAS Company today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Middletown with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.