Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to complete 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 benefits.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine 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 suggesting energy-efficient updates, which can include exchanging your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.

During 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to figure out 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 good 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 could lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling possible 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 detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close 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 to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, such as 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.
  • 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact ACE Solutions 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 ACE Solutions today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Hasbrouck Heights with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.