Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert 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 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 previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.
The ultimate 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, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
During 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often supply 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 can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Understanding 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, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can reveal where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit independently might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Bend to inspect your system.
- Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your 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 along 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 check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Tri County Climate Control LLC for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Tri County Climate Control LLC today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Bend with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.