Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also called 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

Over the course of 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 can be a great starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as 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 upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health problems, particularly 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 more quickly or for more money by showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a generalized understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, like 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.
  • 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 check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact May's Heating & Air for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at May's Heating & Air today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Frederick with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.