Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to complete 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 key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including 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 difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people who have 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely 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, resulting in higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Tucker to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks along 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 working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact ACS Heating and Air Conditioning 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 ACS Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Tucker with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.