Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service specialist 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing 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 performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear 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 might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in McHenry to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the 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 along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Jett's Heating & Air Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Jett's Heating & Air Inc. today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of McHenry with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.