Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, 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 hiring a home service specialist 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 advantages.
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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine where energy is being wasted and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find 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. Some assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be tough for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often provide information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to decide 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 beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will lead to a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Improvements
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll give you a generalized sense 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. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close 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 hire a reputable HVAC company in the Rio Grande Valley to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of the Rio Grande Valley with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.