Did you perform a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure 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 suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a significant 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 will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly 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 demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently may not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues 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 higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 hire a reputable HVAC company in Haines City to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as 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.
- 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Haines City with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.