Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional to perform 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which might include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing 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 will perform a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive 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 neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide 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 good starting point to determine 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 worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn 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 can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health conditions, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Pella to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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 the ventilation. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Pella with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.