Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather events, consistently high bills can quickly suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service specialist to perform a home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.

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 could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at past energy bills while completing an energy audit to find out where energy is being consumed and how much.

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

While completing the energy assessment, the auditor performs an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs 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. Exhaustive assessments might also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the average homeowner to be 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 ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This could be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.

A few of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Recognizing How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to know how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can cause a significant increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to completely heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should outline where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to save on energy and reduce utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or installing a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which can negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, especially for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly 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 independently may not be as detailed as choosing a professional, it’ll give you a general understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug 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 to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there could be a draft, like along the edge of flooring and along baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can look 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 spinning properly, and look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Verona HVAC 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 Verona HVAC today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Santa Clarita with quality home services for years. Contact us today to set up an appointment.