Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also called 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can lead to a large 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 Upgrades
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, 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 much faster or for more money by showing 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 offer a broad understanding 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:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 Grand Prairie to inspect your system.
- Look for 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, such as 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.
- 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 functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Bon Air Service 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 experts at Bon Air Service Company today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Grand Prairie with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.