Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often offer 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 could be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Magnolia to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact JTech Mechanical for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at JTech Mechanical today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Magnolia with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.