Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather events, repeatedly high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service specialist to carry out a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 recommending energy-efficient improvements, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

While completing 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home stands in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with 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:

Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can cause a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by showing possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as comprehensive as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a general sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look 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, such as 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Air Masters Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Air Masters Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Port Orchard with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.