Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

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 review past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often offer 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 is a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile 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 will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and excess strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks around 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Ameri-Tec for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Ameri-Tec today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Narvon with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.