Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 custom 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 previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with 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 decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people who have 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your 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 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Tru Air Systems LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Tru Air Systems LLC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
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