Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to figure 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing 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 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 may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local 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 could be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep 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 produce mold. This can lead to health issues, 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 much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 might be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Greensburg to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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.
- 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Wallpe Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Wallpe Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Greensburg with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.