Consider conducting a home energy audit if you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to reduce your household’s energy costs. A home energy audit is a process by which a homeowner or tenant measures the amount of energy used in their home. This information can then be used to make necessary changes and improvements to reduce overall energy consumption.
There are several different ways to conduct a home energy audit. You can hire a professional energy auditor or do it yourself using one of the many available online tools. If you choose to do it yourself, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind; this blog will guide you.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
Home energy audits assess energy efficiency and identify potential areas where improvements can be made. Energy audits typically involve a thorough inspection of the home and analysis of utility bills and other factors that can impact energy consumption. The goal of a home energy audit is to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient, save money on utility bills and help to protect the environment.
There are several different ways to conduct a home energy audit. Some audits are conducted by trained professionals who use specialized equipment to identify areas where energy efficiency can be improved. Other audits, such as do-it-yourself (DIY) audits, can be conducted by homeowners using essential tools and knowledge.
Home energy audits can be conducted for a variety of reasons. Some people conduct audits to save money on their utility bills, while others do it to help protect the environment. Still, others conduct audits for both reasons.
During a Home Energy Audit, What Happens?
An energy audit is a house assessment that looks at current energy consumption and then recommends energy efficiency improvements you may implement to make your home more efficient. An energy auditor can determine where your home is wasting the most energy and give recommendations for energy-saving measures that will help you save money on your electricity bills.
Depending on the size of your home, professional energy audits can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to perform. These experienced auditors utilize a range of instruments to identify problem areas in your home and provide you with a list of recommended steps and actions that you can do to make it more energy-efficient.
A typical energy audit in your home might look like this:
- From the exterior, an energy auditor will examine your structure. They’ll look at a range of components, including windows, walls, and eaves, to discover if any serious problems are causing leaks into or out of your property.
- The auditor will search your attic (if you have one) and examine a few items. Most importantly, they’ll examine your insulation to ensure it’s properly fitted and uniformly distributed between your walls. They’ll also check the holes where electrical wires run to see if they’re adequately sealed or a leakage source.
- The auditor will examine your furnace and water heater. If either is on the older side, it’s probably time to upgrade. They’ll probably also inspect the furnace filter to ensure it doesn’t need to be replaced. They’ll also inspect connections in your basement’s ductwork for any probable leaks causing you to lose heat and energy.
- A blower door test is usually included in professional audits. It is a device that helps them find air leaks in the house. All the windows and doors are closed during a blower door test, and they utilize a blower door machine to depressurize the house. The auditor then uses an infrared camera to determine where chilly air enters your home.
- Finally, most audits involve a visual assessment of your home’s lighting. If you’re still using ordinary incandescent light bulbs, upgrading to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps can help you save money (CFLs).
In an energy audit, these are some of the more usual phases. However, depending on the breadth of your energy audit and the instruments in your energy auditor’s toolbox, you may need to perform some more measures (such as thermographic inspections).
The scope of the audit determines your energy auditor’s recommendations for your home. Switching to more energy-efficient lighting, sealing air leaks around doors, and adding weather stripping are some simple options. More insulation or replacing windows that produce draughts in your home are two more significant suggestions.
How Does a Home Energy Audit Help the Environment?
Home energy audits help the environment in a few ways.
The most obvious way is that by helping you reduce your energy consumption, home energy audits help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are released when burning fossil fuels like natural gas, oil, and coal. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere and cause the Earth’s average temperature to rise, leading to a host of problems, including more extreme weather events and the melting of polar ice caps.
Home energy audits also help the environment by helping you save money on your energy bills. When you use less energy, you reduce your carbon footprint and save money that you would have otherwise spent on your energy bills. This money can be used to invest in more energy-efficient appliances or home improvements, further reducing your energy consumption and saving you even more money in the long run.
In summary, home energy audits help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping you save money on your energy bills.
What Is the Cost of an Energy Audit, and How Much Can you Save?
The cost of an energy audit varies depending on the firm and the size of your building (some companies offer fixed rates, while others will charge more for a larger home). However, do your homework; some utility providers, nonprofits, and governmental groups in your area may provide free energy audits.
Even if it’s a paid service, the upfront cost of an energy audit and the subsequent energy efficiency measures will be worth it in the long run when you save money on your electricity bills. You can save five to thirty percent on your energy expenses by upgrading your home’s energy efficiency.
How to Perform your Energy Audit at Home?
While hiring a professional to conduct an energy audit is the best method to detect problem areas in your house, there are a few energy-saving tips that you can use on your own to enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
- Inspect your home for leaks if you find a particularly draughty location. Leaks are widespread at the intersections of walls, ceilings, doors, windows, and electrical outlets. If you find a leak, use weatherstripping or caulk to stop it.
- Examine the insulation in your attic and any potential leaks near your heating and cooling systems.
- Switching to more energy-efficient lighting (LEDs, CFLs, or energy-saving incandescents) is a simple approach to reducing your electric bill.
- If you’re thinking about replacing any of your appliances, look for energy-efficient models that use less energy than standard equivalents.
- Consider using a programmable thermostat to help you save energy by automatically turning off your heating and cooling system when you’re not home.
- You can also reduce your water heater’s temperature to save money on your water bill.
- Finally, unplug any appliances or electronics you’re not currently using; they may be turned off, but they’re still using energy if plugged in.
You can improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money on your utility bills by taking these steps.
The Bottom Line
If you’re spending a lot of money on your energy bills, an energy audit is a good idea. The sooner you implement energy-saving improvements to your house, the sooner you start saving money.
Keep in mind. However, that seasonality is a factor to consider. During the winter, many houses seem draughty or cold in some sections and warm in others. If you reside in the Northeast and spend a lot of money on energy during the winter, it might be good to finish energy-saving projects before the cold weather arrives.
This principle also applies in the opposite direction. If your summer power expenses are high due to central air conditioning, having an audit and time to implement energy efficiency measures before the hottest months may be the best option.