Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform 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 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out 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. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often provide 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 could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile 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 cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back 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 slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Muldrow to inspect your system.
- Look 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, like along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Service Co. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Air Service Co. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Muldrow with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.