Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out 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 uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging 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 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 might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many 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 could be a great starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several 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 air, it could 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 Upgrades
An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing 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 excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people who have 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 showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 might 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 along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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 J.L. Brady Company LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at J.L. Brady Company LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Moline with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.