Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills during an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.
The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.
Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health problems, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Hasbrouck Heights 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 is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and near baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along the home’s foundation, siding and mortar. Plug, caulk or seal any air leaks to save money.
- Examine 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. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact ACE Solutions for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at ACE Solutions today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Hasbrouck Heights with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.