Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
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 go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed 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 might include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could result in a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving 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 form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Florissant to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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 near 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.
- 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 functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact B & B Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at B & B Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Florissant with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.