Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out 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 identifying energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes 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 hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to prospective 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 thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Naples to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Speedy Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Speedy Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Naples with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.