Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather events, persistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the simplest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete 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 custom 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 previous energy bills during an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.

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

During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine 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 good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could 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 Upgrades

An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This may include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health problems, especially 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 prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

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

  • Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly 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 inspect for air leaks around 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Oxford with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.