Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also called 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills during 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 identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 determine 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 worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since 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 cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Franklin Lakes 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, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Total Comfort for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Total Comfort today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Franklin Lakes with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.