Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert 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 advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the typical homeowner to be 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will result in a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health problems, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing possible 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 detailed as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Omaha to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Omaha with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.