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? Although high energy bills can be the consequence of severe weather conditions, consistently high bills can often signify 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 determine whether your home is wasting energy is by getting a home service professional to perform a home energy audit, also referred to as a home energy assessment. Keep reading to learn all about home energy audits, including what they are and their key elements.

What Is a Home Energy Audit

An energy audit is a custom inspection of how much energy your home uses up and whether – and where – your home might be losing or wasting energy. An inspector will review past energy bills while completing an energy audit to figure out where energy is being used and how much.

The general goal of an energy audit is to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by identifying energy-efficient improvements, which may include exchanging your existing HVAC system, putting in new insulation, plugging up leaks, or replacing drafty windows.

During the energy assessment, the auditor also completes 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 inspect your home’s HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, the water heater, and the insulation in your attic. Comprehensive assessments may also include inspecting your current lighting system.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

It can be difficult for the ordinary homeowner to be sure how efficient their home is versus other similar homes in their community. However, many energy companies often supply information about where your home is ranked 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 completed.

Several of the benefits of a home energy audit include:

Learning How Efficient Your Home Is

It’s worthwhile to understand how efficient your home is and where you’re using the most energy. For example, if your ducts are leaking, it could lead to a significant increase in your energy bills and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system as it has to work longer to fully heat or cool your home.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

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

Improving Health and Safety

Enabling air to seep into your home via doors and windows, or as a result of a lack of insulation can cause extra moisture to appear, which may negatively influence your home’s humidity levels or encourage mold. This can cause health issues, especially 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 more quickly or for more money by telling potential buyers that it’s energy efficient.

How to Do an Energy Audit of Your Home

Although handling an energy audit independently will not be as detailed as hiring a professional, it’ll offer you a broad understanding of how energy efficient your home is. If you don’t find any issues during the DIY test, then you probably don’t need to bring in a professional. Try this step-by-step checklist:

  • Examine your HVAC system. Damaged ducts can lose as much as 20% of conditioned air, contributing to higher energy bills and increased strain on HVAC equipment. If you discover leaks, use duct tape to plug them. If your HVAC equipment is old and wearing down, upgrading to a new system can save you a considerable amount on your energy bills. In some cases, it is better to contact a reputable HVAC company in Cedar Rapids to inspect your system.
  • Check for air leaks. Air leaks on average can increase your energy bills by 10 to 20%. Inside, look for air leaks in areas where there is a draft, like 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. Check that all of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are functioning properly, and check for evidence of rot or moisture.

Contact Ilten's Incorporated for a Professional Energy Audit

If you are interested in professional help determining how energy efficient your heating and cooling equipment is, call the HVAC experts at Ilten's Incorporated today. We’ve proudly served the residents of Cedar Rapids with quality home services for a long time. Contact us today to request an appointment.