Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will lead to a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a generalized 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Wisconsin Rapids to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks along 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 spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Wisconsin Rapids with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.