Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to complete 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 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 go through older energy bills in the course of 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 exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Comprehensive assessments might also include inspecting 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with 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:
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 leaking, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 performing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Eastland 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, 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact J & J Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at J & J Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Eastland with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.