Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive 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 find out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging 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 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often provide 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 good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a broad understanding 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:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Newark 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, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Luikart Heating & Cooling 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 pros at Luikart Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Newark with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.