Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all 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 uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing 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 community. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few 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 consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old 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 build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 Cambridge 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 there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Pliescott HVAC Services LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Pliescott HVAC Services LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Cambridge with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.