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

December 06, 2022

Ever done a double take when you took a look at your last energy bill? While high energy bills can be the result of extreme weather conditions, persistently high bills can often indicate an inefficient HVAC system or your home is wasting energy because of other means, such as drafty windows or poor insulation.

One of the easiest ways to determine whether your home is consuming too much energy is by calling a home service professional to complete a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to find out more about home energy audits, including what they are and their advantages.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a thorough inspection of how much energy your home uses and whether – and where – your home may be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will take a look at previous energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being wasted 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 swapping out your current HVAC system, installing new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing loose windows.

While completing the energy assessment, the auditor carries out an inspection of the outside and inside of your home. The auditor completes a blower door test on doorways, windows and fireplaces to determine if there are air leaks in your home. They’ll also check your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Some assessments might also include checking your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be hard for the average homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their area. However, many 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 versus your neighbors’ homes. This can be a good starting point to decide if you need an energy audit scheduled.

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

Understanding How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s good to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are damaged, it can result in a large increase in your energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to stay on longer to properly heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

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

Enhancing Health and Safety

Enabling air to leak into your home through doors and windows, or due to a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to form, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or produce mold. This can lead to health issues, particularly for people who have asthma or allergies.

Raising Your Home’s Retail Value

Energy-efficient homes are desired 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 performing an energy audit on your own may not be as detailed as calling a professional, it’ll offer a general idea of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any flaws during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Review your HVAC system. Leaky ducts can lose up to 20% of conditioned air, leading to more expensive 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 considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to call a reputable HVAC company in Houston 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 is a draft, such as along the edge of flooring and along 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Marcos AC & Heating for a Professional Energy Audit

If you would like professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC professionals at Marcos AC & Heating today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Houston with quality home services for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.