Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during an energy audit to find 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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. Some assessments could also include inspecting 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
Several 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 using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people dealing with 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 showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may 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 find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Fort Lauderdale to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Solar Air Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Solar Air Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Fort Lauderdale with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.