Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, repeatedly high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

What Is a Home Energy Audit?

An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 updates, which might include exchanging your current HVAC system, installing 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 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, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments could also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their community. However, local energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.

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

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

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

Improving Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred 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 independently may not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find leaks, use duct tape to close 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 hire 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 there is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Struven Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Struven Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Crown Point with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to set up an appointment.