Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which may include exchanging 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly 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 lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Wisconsin Rapids with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.