Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to carry out 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 advantages.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.

The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old 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 find out 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. Exhaustive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will cause a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Improvements

An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially 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 sooner or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea 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 hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the 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 close to 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Solar Air Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Solar Air Inc. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Fort Lauderdale with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.