Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing 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 versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine 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 good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people suffering from 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and increased 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Wyandotte to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Wyandotte with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.