Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often provide 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 could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after 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 performing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Jefferson City to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your 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.
- 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 spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Stieferman Heating Company Inc 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 Stieferman Heating Company Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Jefferson City with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.