Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather events, consistently high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service professional to carry out 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 benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding 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 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 tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to 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.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause 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 will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Enabling air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people who have asthma or allergies.
Raising 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Tucson to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 near 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact A&M Heating & Cooling LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at A&M Heating & Cooling LLC today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Tucson with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.