Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert 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 benefits.
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 consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to decide 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 beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea 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 call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Racine to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks in 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Racine with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.