Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine 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 more 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of 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 determine 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. Exhaustive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home stands 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 useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand 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 because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws 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 as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and excess 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 contact a reputable HVAC company in Safford to inspect your system.
- Check 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, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks around 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact B&D Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at B&D Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Safford with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.