Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is consuming too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to complete 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 benefits.

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 take a look at past energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being consumed and how much.

The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by suggesting energy-efficient improvements, which might include replacing your existing HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

While completing the energy assessment, the auditor also completes an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor will perform 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, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments could also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the typical homeowner to know for certain 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 ranks 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 figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning 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 can result in a large increase in your energy bills and increased 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 should outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Allowing air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to 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 cause health conditions, particularly for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are sought after 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 Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a generalized 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. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive 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 contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be 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.
  • Inspect 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Done Right Air for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC pros at Done Right Air today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Milwaukee with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.