Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also called 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to figure out 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 good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Bloomfield to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Stanford Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Stanford Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Bloomfield with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.