Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme 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 inadequate insulation.
An easy way to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also called 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it could cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll give you a broad 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 hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Naples to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact CNR Air Conditioning Inc for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at CNR Air Conditioning Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Naples with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.