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

December 06, 2022

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

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is wasting energy is by hiring a home service professional to complete 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 benefits.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses 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 figure out where energy is being used and how much.

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

During 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 figure out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments may also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home is ranked when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient compared to your neighbors’ homes. This is a useful starting point to figure out if you need an energy audit scheduled.

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

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

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

Making Energy-Efficient Improvements

An energy audit should reveal where you need to make energy-efficient improvements to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Enabling air to slip into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which could negatively affect your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can exacerbate health issues, especially for people dealing with asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired by homebuyers. You can sell your home much faster or for more money by telling prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit by yourself will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a generalized sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Broken ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and greater wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to eliminate them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to call a reputable HVAC company in Dresden to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase the energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like 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.
  • 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact McFadden Heating & Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you want professional help figuring out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at McFadden Heating & Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Dresden with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.