Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, like drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old 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 determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 could be a good starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

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 using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can result in a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

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

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

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

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely 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 increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to seal 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 call 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, including along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look for air leaks along 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 ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are spinning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Everest 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 professionals at Everest Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Lansing with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.