Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate 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, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 find out 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. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked 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 determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing 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 large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Marshalltown to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact B & G HVAC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at B & G HVAC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Marshalltown with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.