Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to carry out 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 comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine 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 know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in 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 Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving 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 unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently might not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, 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 Ballwin and St. Charles 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 there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Alliance Team 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 experts at Air Alliance Team today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Ballwin and St. Charles with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.