Have you ever performed a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of intense weather conditions, consistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to complete 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 thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills during an energy audit to find out 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 identifying energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.

Over the course of 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the average homeowner to know for sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often supply information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s good to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it will lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

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

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to leak into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Adding to Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by showing potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized idea 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. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and greater wear and tear 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 significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise the 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 inspect for air leaks around 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Desert Husky HVAC/R Services for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Desert Husky HVAC/R Services today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Tucson and Phoenix with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.