Ever done a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting 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 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 key elements.

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 take a look at older energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.

The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

During 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 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. Some assessments could also include checking 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 neighborhood. However, local energy companies often offer information about where your home stands when compared with 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.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s good to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

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

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit independently may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as 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.
  • 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Hodgenville with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.