Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy through other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up 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 determine where energy is being wasted and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient renovations, which can include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, local 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This can be a great starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it will lead to a large increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health issues, 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 telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice 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 considerable 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 your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks around 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 spinning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Diedrick's Heating and Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Diedrick's Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Seymour with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.