Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist 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 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 take a look at past energy bills while completing 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 updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of 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 could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Huffman to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 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 functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Houston Mechanical LLC 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 Air Houston Mechanical LLC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Huffman with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.