A home energy audit is a crucial step in improving the energy efficiency and cost savings of your home. By assessing the energy consumption and identifying areas of improvement, you can save money on your monthly energy bills, increase the comfort and safety of your home, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Everyone wants to make their home more energy efficient, but most have no idea where to start. That’s where home energy audits come in handy. By completing a DIY audit or hiring a professional home energy auditor, you can begin cutting your energy dependence and lowering utility bills at the same time.
In this article, we delve into the importance of getting a home energy audit, how it can be done, and the benefits it has to offer.
Why is a Home Energy Audit Important?
A home energy audit is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you understand the energy consumption of your home and the sources of energy loss. This information can be used to make informed decisions on how to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, and lower your monthly energy bills.
Secondly, a home energy audit can help you identify areas of your home that need improvement. For example, you may find that your home has drafty windows, which are letting in cold air and causing your heating system to work harder than it needs to. You may also find that your insulation is not adequate, which is causing heat to escape and leading to increased energy consumption.
Thirdly, a home energy audit can help you identify potential safety hazards in your home, such as carbon monoxide leaks from your heating system, or electrical issues that could be a fire risk. By addressing these issues, you can improve the safety of your home and reduce the risk of accidents.
How to Conduct a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit can be done by a professional energy auditor or by yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, there are several steps you can follow to get started:
- Gather Information: Do-it-yourself audits are quick and easy, as long as you have your last 12 months of utility bills handy. Before you start the audit, gather information about your home, such as its age, square footage, and the type of heating and cooling systems you have. You should also gather information about your energy bills, including the amount you spend on heating, cooling, and electricity.
- Visual Inspection: Start by performing a visual inspection of your home, looking for areas that could be causing energy loss, such as drafty windows and doors, poorly insulated attics and walls, and missing or damaged weather stripping.
- Check Your Heating and Cooling Systems: Next, check your heating and cooling systems, making sure that they are in good working order and properly sized for your home. You should also check for air leaks around your ductwork and make sure that your air filter is clean.
- Measure Energy Usage: To get a more accurate picture of your energy consumption, you can use energy monitoring devices, such as a smart meter or energy monitor, to measure your energy usage over a period of time. Using the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick, you can compare your home’s energy efficiency with other homes across the country with a few standard questions (square footage, number of occupants in your home, etc.). Based on the results, Energy Star will provide suggestions to decrease your household energy consumption.
- Evaluate Your Lighting: Evaluate your lighting, including both indoor and outdoor lighting, to see if there are areas where you could switch to more energy-efficient lighting options.
Call in the Pros
For more hands-on help, you should definitely consider hiring a home energy auditor.
They’re more qualified to determine exactly where your home needs improvement by measuring air leaks, as well as using infrared cameras to detect areas missing insulation.
Before deciding which route to take, contact your local utility company and ask if they offer free or discounted energy audits — always a great starting point.
Benefits of a Home Energy Audit
- Lower Energy Bills: By conducting a home energy audit, you can identify areas of your home that are consuming more energy than they should. By addressing these areas and making improvements, you can lower your monthly energy bills.
- Increased Comfort: By reducing energy loss in your home, you can increase the comfort of your home, making it feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You will also reduce the risk of drafts and improve the overall air quality in your home.
- Improved Safety: A home energy audit can help you identify potential safety hazards in your home, such as carbon monoxide leaks, electrical issues, and fire hazards. By addressing these issues, you can improve the safety of your home and reduce the risk of accidents.
Lower monthly utility bills should be incentive enough to update the efficiency of your home.
It’ll be worth it, we promise.
Insulation is actually a great thing and is always worth the investment. You may have modern, high-efficient and well-maintained heating and cooling systems, but it won’t give you desirable results without proper insulation.
Up to 20% of heated/cooled air that moves through a home can be lost because of poor insulation and air leaks!