Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the consequence of extreme weather events, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much 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 learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient improvements, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 check your home’s HVAC system, including 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 hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health problems, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to 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 Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 Murrieta 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 you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near 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.
- 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Cool Air Solutions for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Cool Air Solutions today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Murrieta with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.