Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest 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 determine 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 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills while completing 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 identifying energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.

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

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s beneficial to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit will reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to form, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

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

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as thorough as calling a professional, it’ll offer you a general 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 call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and excess 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire 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 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.
  • 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 functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Refrigeration Systems Ltd. for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Refrigeration Systems Ltd. today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Richmond with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.