Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
One of the simplest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their benefits.
What Is a Home Energy Audit
An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being used and how much.
The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the average 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 is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Updates
An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Improving Health and Safety
Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, especially 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 more quickly 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 might not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 Chelan and Wenatchee 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 is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Lakeside Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit
If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Lakeside Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Chelan and Wenatchee with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.