Every year, the average household in the U.S. spends about $2,060 on energy bills. The only way to reduce this annual bill is to improve your energy efficiency at home, but most families don’t know exactly how to do that. There are plenty of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, but the first step is conducting a home energy audit.
A home energy audit is an assessment of how energy is consumed in your home. Performing an audit will help you determine where your home is wasting energy so you can take the necessary steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
What Happens During A Home Energy Audit?
You should learn what a home energy audit entails so you know what to expect during the assessment. An audit typically consists of several steps, including:
- Discussion With the Professional Auditor
- Energy Bill Assessment
- Home Inspection
- Energy Efficient Recommendations
Discussion With the Professional Auditor
The auditor will begin the assessment by discussing your energy needs and concerns. If you would like to know more about a specific issue, now is the time to bring it up. For example, if you feel a cold draft in certain rooms, tell the auditor so they can identify the problem and provide you with an energy-efficient solution.
The auditor may also want to know more about your lifestyle. Do you travel often? Do you work from home? Answering these questions can help the auditor gain a deeper understanding of your unique energy needs.
Energy Bill Assessment
Next, the auditor will ask for copies of your most recent energy bills. The auditor will need to see how much you currently spend on energy every month so they can estimate how much you can save by making certain energy-efficient improvements.
If you don’t have these energy bills available, you can still conduct an audit, but the estimated savings information may not be as accurate.
At this point, the auditor will have the background information that they need to conduct the assessment. The auditor will conduct a visual home energy inspection of your home’s exterior, interior, roof, and heating and cooling system and take notes on their condition.
Your auditor will also need to perform various tests to identify air leaks, water leaks, moisture, ventilation problems, and other issues in your home.
For example, the auditor may conduct a thermographic scan to determine which areas of your home are under-insulated and over-insulated. A blower door test may also be performed to detect air leaks around your home. Tests like these can help the auditor learn how energy is being wasted in your home.
Energy Efficient Recommendations
After completing the inspection, the auditor will create a list of customized energy-efficient recommendations based on their notes and test results. This list will tell you exactly what improvements you need to make around your home in order to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your monthly utility bills.
For example, the auditor may have detected air leaks around your doors and windows. If so, the auditor may recommend sealing these air leaks by caulking around the windows and using weather stripping around the doors.
Are Home Energy Audits Worth It?
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should perform an audit, it’s important to understand how you can benefit from this home energy assessment. Some of the many benefits include:
- Save money on utility bills. The Department of Energy estimates that you can save between 5-30% on your annual utility bills by implementing some of the energy efficient recommendations made in your home energy audit report. This means the average household could save between $103 and $618 per year on energy bills.
- Increase your home’s value. Studies have shown that making energy efficient upgrades can increase the resale value of your home. Having an energy efficient HVAC system can increase your home’s value by about 5.8%, whereas having ENERGY STAR® appliances can increase your home’s value by about 9%.
- Make your home more comfortable. Improving your home’s energy efficiency will address issues such as dirty air filters, leaky windows, and cold drafts of air. By addressing these issues, you can make your home more comfortable for your family to live in.
- Create a healthier living environment. Making energy efficient upgrades will help you address mold, indoor air pollution, and other issues in your home that could be affecting your health. By fixing these issues, you can create a healthier living environment for your whole family.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. It’s estimated that about 16% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are generated by homes across the country. Improving your energy efficiency will drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions your home generates, which will reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet.
It’s important to note that you will only enjoy these benefits if you are willing to put in the time and effort to implement energy-efficient recommendations after your audit is complete. As long as you are committed to making some or all of the recommended improvements, performing a home energy audit is definitely worth the time and effort.
Can You Do Your Own Energy Audit?
Using the HomeSelfe app, you can conduct a home energy audit for free. The app will guide you through the process and ask you questions about various appliances, fixtures, and energy-efficient features in your home. The app will use the answers to these questions to prepare a customized list of energy-efficient recommendations for your home.
This report will tell you what improvements to make, how much you can save, and what rebates you should take advantage of in your area. All of this customized information will be available at your fingertips—for free.
Download the HomeSelfe app today to find out how you can reduce your utility bills, increase your home’s value, and improve your home’s energy efficiency.