Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can often suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, like drafty windows or poor insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known 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 custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which might include swapping out your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty 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 check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include checking 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 compared to other similar homes in their area. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit completed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning 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 cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to build up, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people suffering from 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 telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit on your own might not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad 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 bring in a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to hire a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to 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 working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Ohler & Holzhauer 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 professionals at Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Port Clinton with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.