Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks in comparison to 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 completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly 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 by yourself may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Lincoln 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 there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near 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 functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact AW Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at AW Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Lincoln with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.