Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 key elements.
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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in a significant 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 Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad 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 call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Zelienople 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 near 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.
- 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 functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Knoechel Heating Company for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Knoechel Heating Company today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Zelienople with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.