Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service expert to carry out 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through older energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess strain 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Siloam Springs to inspect your system.
- Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Siloam Springs Heating & AC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Siloam Springs Heating & AC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Siloam Springs with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.