Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also known as 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted 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, sealing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing 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 extra moisture to appear, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit independently may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, 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 Gresham 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 is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along 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.
- 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Honke Heating & AC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Honke Heating & AC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Gresham with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.