Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
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 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
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 using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive 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 will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people dealing with 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 completing an energy audit on your own will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 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 might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Huntsville 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 there could be a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and close to 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.
- Inspect 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Huntsville with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.