Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, such as drafty windows or inadequate insulation.
An easy way to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also called 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up 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 determine where energy is being used 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 may include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.
During 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include inspecting your current lighting system.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their community. However, lots of energy companies often supply 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 determine if you need an energy audit performed.
Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Learning How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it will cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by demonstrating to potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.
How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home
Although performing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to call in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:
- Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Winnipeg to inspect your system.
- Watch for signs of 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 near 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit
If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Winnipeg with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.