Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn 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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills while completing 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 suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to decide 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 good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting 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 could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health problems, particularly 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 sooner or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact JTech Mechanical for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at JTech Mechanical today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.