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

December 06, 2022

Did you perform a double take when you checked your last energy bill? Even though high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather events, repeatedly high bills can also indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is using too much energy by other means, like drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to figure out whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to carry out a home energy audit, also called 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 uses and whether – and where – your home could be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will go through previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine 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 recommending energy-efficient renovations, which may include replacing your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing old windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor performs a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine 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 checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be tough for the ordinary homeowner to know for certain how efficient their home is compared to other similar homes in their area. However, many energy companies often provide information about where your home stands when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit performed.

Some 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 up the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking air, it could cause a sizable increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system since it has to stay on longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Updates

An energy audit can outline where you need to make energy-efficient upgrades to cut back on energy and decrease utility bills. This can include replacing worn weatherstripping or buying a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to slip into your home via doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause unwanted moisture to build up, which can negatively impact your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can lead to health conditions, particularly for people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Adding to 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 showing prospective buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Perform an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although completing an energy audit on your own might not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a broad idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any problems during the DIY test, then you likely don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, resulting in higher energy bills and increased 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 substantial amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it might be better to hire a reputable HVAC company in Excelsior Springs to inspect your system.
  • Watch for signs of 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 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. Make sure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Colvin's Heating and Cooling for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, contact the HVAC professionals at Colvin's Heating and Cooling today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Excelsior Springs with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.