Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also called 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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 might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate 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 demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit by yourself will 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 flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Pflugerville to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Pflugerville with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.