Your Guide to a Complete Home Energy Audit
During your lifetime, you will likely spend thousands of dollars on energy costs. This sum includes the cost of heating and cooling your home, running appliances, using electricity, and so much more. The amount you spend depends on a multitude of factors, like whether things are powered by electricity, oil, propane or even wood; the current cost of certain fuels; and how much energy you are actually using.
To keep your energy costs from being too high, you want to ensure you are being both efficient and conservative in your energy use. One easy way to ensure this is to take the time to have a home energy audit done.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
Simply put, a home energy audit is an assessment of your home that specifically looks at your overall energy consumption. The audit will also identify different energy-efficiency measures that you can put to use to make your home more efficient. By going through a home energy audit, you can learn the different areas where you can improve the energy efficiency of your home so that you can reduce your utility bills as much as possible.
Professional vs. DIY Home Energy Audit
While it is possible to do a DIY home energy audit, you are better off hiring a professional who has more experience for a more comprehensive audit. Depending on the size of your home, it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to four hours to complete a home energy audit checklist so you know what changes you should make and when.
Doing a DIY home energy audit would include inspecting your home for drafty areas or areas where air leaks may exist. This could be by your windows, doors, or wall junctures, and even around electrical outlets. You can also inspect the insulation in your attic, inspect your ductwork for leaks, and ensure you have energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Why Is an Energy Audit Important?
A home energy audit is important because it is designed to help homeowners assess their energy consumption and find ways to create more efficient energy use. Going through a home energy audit will identify different changes, big and small, that homeowners can make to help significantly reduce utility bills. By going through a home energy audit and identifying areas for improvement, you not only lower your utility bills, but you also reduce your carbon emissions.
Benefits of Home Energy Audit
1. Increased Home Safety: One part of home energy audits is combustion safety testing for your HVAC system. These tests examine your system for gas leaks, exhaust leaks and carbon monoxide levels and find any potential leaks or issues.
2. Increased Energy Efficiency: As mentioned repeatedly, the whole point of a home energy audit is to create a more energy-efficient home, which helps homeowners save on their utility bills.
3. Reduced Air Leaks: Air leaks in your walls or HVAC system can create a drafty house and force your HVAC system to work harder to regulate your home’s temperature. An energy audit can identify these issues and come up with a solution.
4. Help Prioritize Repairs: A home energy audit will not just tell you where there are issues in your home, but it will also provide you with a home energy audit checklist, so you know exactly what to prioritize in your home repairs.
5. Reduced Environmental Impact: To power a home, you usually require some fossil fuel usage. These fuels release harmful gases into the environment, which helps contribute to things like global warming. An energy audit will help identify areas where you can make changes and minimize your reliance on fossil fuels, thereby eliminating some of your carbon footprint.
How Often to Have an Audit
Generally, you should have a home energy audit every few years, just to continually ensure that your home is working as efficiently as possible. But, how often you specifically should get them done depends on things like the age and condition of your home and your HVAC unit. If you make any additions or have major renovations, you may also want to complete a new home energy audit just to reassess everything.
Additionally you should perform a home energy audit before buying a new home (to determine its efficiency), before selling or renting your home (so potential buyers are aware), and if you start experiencing higher utility bills for no apparent reason.
Homes can be expensive as it is, so doing what you can to cut down on your costs is important. One way to do that is to ensure your home is as energy-efficient as possible. A home energy audit is a great way to get a thorough assessment of your home’s energy consumption levels. Not only will an audit help to identify where you can improve, but it will also provide you with a home energy audit checklist, so you know where to start in order to create a more energy-efficient home.