Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete 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 advantages.
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 previous energy bills while completing 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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. Comprehensive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks 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 decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in a sizable 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 Improvements
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 old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, especially 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 more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Macon to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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, like 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Temperature Control for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Air Temperature Control today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Macon with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.