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

December 06, 2022

Have you ever performed a double take when you checked your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of intense weather conditions, persistently high bills can quickly signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is misusing energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

One of the easiest ways to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by calling 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 key elements.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review older energy bills in the course of an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.

The ultimate goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient updates, which may include replacing your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

Over the course of 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 evaluate your home’s HVAC system, including the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, local 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 could be a good starting point to determine if you need an energy audit performed.

Some of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to learn more about how efficient your home is and where you’re using up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system because it has to run longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and reduce utility bills. This may include replacing worn weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

Permitting air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, 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 sooner or for more money by demonstrating to possible buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Complete an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit on your own will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a broad sense of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any flaws during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive energy bills and greater strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to seal them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it can be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Payson 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 you can find a draft, including along the edge of flooring and close to baseboards and electrical outlets. Outside, you can inspect for air leaks in 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 look for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact North Mechanical Heating and Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at North Mechanical Heating and Cooling today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Payson with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to request an appointment.