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

December 06, 2022

Ever done a double take when you viewed your last energy bill? Although high energy bills can be the end result of severe weather conditions, persistently high bills can also signify an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or insufficient insulation.

An easy way to identify whether your home is using too much energy is by hiring a home service specialist to perform 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 benefits.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a comprehensive inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills in the course of an energy audit to determine where energy is being consumed 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 exchanging your current HVAC system, adding new insulation, closing up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

Over the course of the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments might also include reviewing your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the ordinary homeowner to know for 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 ranks when compared with similar homes and whether it’s more efficient, about average, or inefficient in contrast with your neighbors’ homes. This can be a useful starting point to decide if you need an energy audit completed.

Several 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 can cause a significant 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 Improvements

An energy audit should expose where you need to make energy-efficient changes to conserve energy and lower utility bills. This might include replacing old weatherstripping or getting a new energy-efficient furnace.

Enhancing Health and Safety

Permitting air to seep into your home through doors and windows, or because of a lack of insulation can cause excessive moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can cause health conditions, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.

Increasing Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are preferred by homebuyers. You can sell your home sooner or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although performing an energy audit by yourself may not be as comprehensive as hiring a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t discover any issues during the DIY test, then you potentially don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, resulting in steeper energy bills and increased wear and tear on HVAC equipment. If you notice leaks, use duct tape to close them. If your HVAC equipment is old and inefficient, upgrading to a new system can save you a significant amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Lodi to inspect your system.
  • Look for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where you can find a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and near 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 ventilation. Ensure that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are working properly, and inspect for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning 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 experts at Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning today. We’ve proudly supported the residents of Lodi with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.