Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy through other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding 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, it can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as 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 save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 can be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Omaha to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise 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 look for air leaks along 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 ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact The Frazier Company 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 professionals at The Frazier Company today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Omaha with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.