Are your energy bills too high? Do you want to make your home more energy-efficient?
Having an energy audit several times in a year can save you money on your utility bills and increase the value of your property. Read on to learn more about an energy audit and its benefits.
What Is an Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a systemic analysis of energy flows, energy use, and energy consumption in a building. It is usually the first step in identifying opportunities to reduce the average gas bill and other energy expenses in both residential and commercial properties.
A home energy audit checklist may include inspecting areas where leaks could allow drafts to enter your home or release cooled or heated air outdoors. It may also involve checking appliances, electronics, lighting fixtures, pipes, and ductwork for signs of wear or leaks.
This kind of audit is an excellent way to figure out where energy could be leaking out of your home. Additionally, it shows you how energy-inefficient elements of your household contribute to the problem.
An energy audit is vital because lost energy often leads to increased utility bills, which can cause financial strain on homeowners. There are three main types of energy audit:
- Walk-Through Audit (WTA) encompasses a walk-through inspection of a property to identify operational or maintenance issues as well as identify areas that require further assessment. The outcome of this kind of audit includes a discovery of energy-saving opportunities, a qualitative analysis of energy-saving solutions, and a projection of potential energy savings.
- Energy Diagnosis involves performing economic calculations, which may include using specific metering equipment to determine actual energy usage and losses. The outcome of this kind of audit consists of an energy balance, a list of energy efficiency solutions, and financial analysis for each of the recommended solutions.
- Investment Grade Audit (IGA) is a comprehensive account of energy consumption. The results of this kind of energy audit include the actual energy demand, an energy balance, and various energy conservation measures.
The type of energy audit to use will depend mainly on the purpose of the audit. For example, if you’re looking to identify potential energy-saving areas in your home, a Walk-Through Audit is ideal.
Advantages of An Energy Audit
There are many benefits to an energy audit, including the following:
Reduced Utility Bills
One of the primary reasons to perform a home energy audit is to figure out how your home contributes to high energy bills. When you lose heat, you’ll have to run your heating system longer to replace the lost heat. An audit will help you identify where to create heat-sealing to reduce the amount of your heating system usage and to save on your energy costs.
Leaking air can make your house uncomfortable during summer or winter. If you experience drafts in your home, consider performing an energy audit to figure out where you can seal the leaks to enhance your comfort.
Improved Health and Safety
During an energy audit, you can identify poor insulation, unwanted sources of moisture, or inadequate insulation. After identifying moisture problems, you can take steps to uphold ideal home humidity, which can lead to positive health improvement, especially for family members with asthma or allergies.
Reduced Environmental Impact
If you want to conserve energy for the sake of the environment, you can achieve that through an energy audit. An energy audit promotes energy-efficiency, which means that your home has a less negative impact on the surrounding environment.
Should I Perform an Energy Audit Myself Or Hire A Professional
With the right skills, you can perform an energy audit on your own to save on professional energy audit costs. However, the process can be quite time-consuming. If you’re not ready to sit down and look into every bill, then it’s a good idea to hire a professional.
A professional energy auditor will evaluate different aspects of your energy consumption and identify main outliers, just as you would do in a DIY energy audit. The advantages of hiring a professional instead of doing an audit on your own include:
- A considerable saving of time doing other essential tasks
- An expert can look at potential areas for saving energy and money
- A professional energy auditor will consider several factors, such as the size of your home and family, to come up with a more comprehensive report and recommendations.
If you decide to work with a professional, consider checking with your utility company if they offer subsidized energy audits to their customers before you explore other options.