Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure 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 suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out 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. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to 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 determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll give you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 hire a reputable HVAC company in Justin to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Pepper AC & Htg Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Pepper AC & Htg Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Justin with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.