Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find 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 may also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of 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 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.