Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe 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 insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, 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 sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close 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 might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Norton to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 look 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 HCE Systems Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at HCE Systems Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Norton with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.