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? While high energy bills can be the end result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy through other means, including drafty windows or inadequate insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is using too much energy is by calling a home service expert to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through past energy bills while completing 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 recommending energy-efficient updates, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing old windows.

While completing 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 find out if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also evaluate your home’s HVAC system, which also includes the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Exhaustive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the typical homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their neighborhood. However, lots of energy companies often offer information about where your home stands 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 performed.

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

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

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

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This might include replacing worn-down weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Improving Health and Safety

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

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

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

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as thorough as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea 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 call in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose nearly 20% of conditioned air, contributing to steeper energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to eliminate 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 is better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Monroe to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase monthly energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, including along the edge of flooring and near 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Lanz Furnace and Fireplace for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help finding out how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC pros at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace today. We’ve proudly serviced the residents of Monroe with quality home services for years. Contact us today to request an appointment.