Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly 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 easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn 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 might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down 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 form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Neptune City to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the 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 along 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.
- 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Aggressive Mechanical for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Aggressive Mechanical today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Neptune City with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.