Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also called 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 comprehensive 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 in the course of an energy audit to figure 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 suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which can include exchanging your current HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to figure 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 difficult for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home ranks in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could result in 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 Improvements

An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which may negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can cause health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit by yourself might not be as comprehensive as calling a professional, it’ll offer a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise your 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 close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Better Air for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Better Air today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Dundas and Northfield with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.