Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed 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 can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could 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 in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as calling 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 probably don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company in West Valley City to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Select Comfort Systems Heating & Air Conditioning 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 Select Comfort Systems Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of West Valley City with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.