Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to perform 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 up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often offer 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 can be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several 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 up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people dealing with 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 showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 contact a reputable HVAC company in Muskogee to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 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 working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Muskogee with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.