Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service expert 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 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 while completing an energy audit to determine 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 renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking 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 compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning 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 leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home via 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 exacerbate health problems, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing 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 potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a general idea 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. 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 excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Bishop to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning 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 Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Bishop with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.