Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks 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 good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding 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 air, it can cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive 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 will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Mankato area to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 along 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.
- 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 functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Northern Comfort Inc 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 Northern Comfort Inc today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Mankato area with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.