Did you perform a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, consistently high bills can often signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also called 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 consumes and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to find out where energy is being wasted and how much.

The overall goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by recommending energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, sealing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor carries out 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, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive 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 versus 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 compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit completed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing 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 damaged, it can result in a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit will expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can exacerbate health conditions, particularly for people who have 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 showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a generalized understanding 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 bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive 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 inefficient, 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 there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and along 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Pure Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Pure Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Streamwood with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.