Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy because of other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service professional to perform 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 advantages.

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 may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out 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 can include swapping out your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, lots of 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to decide 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 good 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, it can lead to a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit will outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health problems, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a general 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 hire a professional. Use this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover 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 is better to call a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Check 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 look 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 working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Parker County Cooling & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Parker County Cooling & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Weatherford with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.