You Asked, We Answer: Is a Home Energy Audit Worth It?

December 06, 2022

Have you ever performed a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of intense weather events, consistently high bills can also suggest an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy by other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

One of the easiest ways to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn more about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

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 go through older energy bills while completing an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which can include replacing your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 check your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments may also include checking 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 compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.

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

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re consuming the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it can lead to a sizable increase in your energy bills and increased wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to run longer to completely heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to save on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Allowing air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to form, which can negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or lead to mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are sought after by homebuyers. You can sell your home more quickly or for more money by telling possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

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

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, resulting in more expensive energy bills and excess wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you find 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 in Columbia to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can raise monthly 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 look 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 the ventilation. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Watts Electric & A/C Inc for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Watts Electric & A/C Inc today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Columbia with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.