Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service expert to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.
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 review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could lead to a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly 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 much faster or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Phoenix to inspect your system.
- Check for 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, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Integrity AC & Heating LLC 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 Integrity AC & Heating LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Phoenix with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.