Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 check your home’s HVAC system, including 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 average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, local 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 useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some 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 the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline 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.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Beckley and Mount Hope to inspect your system.
- Check 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, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Appalachian Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Appalachian Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Beckley and Mount Hope with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.