Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or poor insulation.
One of the simplest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by getting a home service specialist 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills during an energy audit to figure 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 improvements, which may include swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.
Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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 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 average homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, many energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked in comparison to similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit performed.
A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:
Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is
It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could cause a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to properly heat or cool your home.
Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades
An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.
Enhancing Health and Safety
Permitting air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to build up, which could negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.
Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value
Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner 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 by yourself will not be as thorough as choosing a professional, it’ll offer you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to hire a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
- Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and excess strain 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Los Angeles 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 you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near 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 spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.
Contact AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for a Professional Energy Audit
If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC experts at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Los Angeles with quality home services for years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.