Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include checking 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 area. However, lots of 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Abilene to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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 the ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Abilene Air-Tech Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Abilene Air-Tech Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Abilene with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.