Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to determine 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 learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
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 review older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure 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 may also include checking 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 versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, 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 much faster or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Carson City 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 there could be a draft, such as 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.
- 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Anderson Heating & A/C for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Anderson Heating & A/C today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Carson City with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.