An average American household spends roughly $2,060 per year on home utility bills as per EnergyStar. Depending on where you live and the energy sources you rely on, the expenses can add up.
Your energy cost depends upon the type of fuel you use and the rate at which it can be bought in your area.
While the rate might be out of your control, making changes in your energy consumption habit can significantly lower your bill.
But many homeowners are not aware that some features in their homes like poor insulation or cracks in the wall can inflate their energy use.
Fortunately, there is a way to identify these loopholes and save energy -seeking an energy audit.
What Is A Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit assesses your current energy consumption to identify where your house is losing the most energy.
After the assessment, the energy auditor proposes improvements to make your home more energy-efficient and reduce your utility bills.
A professional energy inspector will consider a variety of components, including your property structure, windows, eaves, airflow, lighting, and common furnace issues.
A complete home inspection can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Why Should You Consider A Home Energy Audit?
Here is why every household should go for an energy audit.
The first and the major advantage of performing a home audit is that you will save money on your utility bills.
Your savings will depend on the upgrades you make to your home as per the suggestion of the energy inspector.
On average, homeowners can save up to 5% to 30% on their utility bills by performing home energy inspection.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
When you use energy efficiently, you automatically reduce your carbon footprint, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, you can do your bit to conserve the environment.
Fixing air leakages, replacing old appliances with energy-efficient ones, proper insulation, using solar energy, and minimizing electricity wastage are some of the ways to reduce your impact on the environment.
Identify Potential Energy Saving Opportunities
Once you identify the loopholes that are causing energy wastage in your home, you can take steps to resolve the issue.
Improper insulation and worn-out windows are two major causes of air leakages. You can reduce much of your energy consumption just by fixing the above two problems.
Another way to save energy is by opting for the Green Energy Plans by Reliant Energy. Reliant offers a variety of renewable energy plans to environment-conscious consumers at the most affordable rates.
Ensure Health And Safety
The most important thing to come out of a home audit is the safety of your family members and your own.
Advanced tools and techniques are used during the audit to identify any electrical or other hazards that pose a threat to your safety. The auditor ensures that proper wiring is done so that there is no danger of fires.
The auditor also checks to see if there is any unwanted source of moisture in your home. Once such sources are identified, you should immediately take steps to maintain ideal home humidity.
This will yield positive health results for your family, especially for those members suffering from asthma or allergies.
Increase Your Home Comfort
Improving energy efficiency comes with control over your home environment. An energy audit enables your HVAC system to heat or cool your home with greater efficiency.
Getting your home inspected will not only extend the service life of the system but also improve your level of comfort within your home.
Increase Your Home’s Resale Value
Making your home energy efficient is one of the best improvements you can make to increase the value of your property. Potential buyers are always on the look for energy-efficient homes.
Most people prefer to buy only those houses where energy issues have been identified and corrected beforehand.
Set A Standard For Your Family And Friends
With the help of an energy audit, you can considerably save energy and reduce your utility bills. This will set an example for your family and friends as they, too, will start adopting measures to lower their energy costs.
When many households go for the energy audit, it will bring down the overall energy consumption making this planet cleaner and greener for the future generation to come.
How To Conduct Your Own Home Energy Audit
While hiring a professional auditor is the best way to identify energy issues, there are a few steps you can take yourself to save energy.
Locate Air Leaks
If you notice any draft or areas of cold, inspect those areas for leaks. Other areas common for leaks are junctures between walls and ceilings, doors or windows, and electric outlets.
Seal the leaks with appropriate material. You can even switch to energy-saving windows.
Check your bathroom, laundry, and kitchen ventilation to ensure they’re properly working. Regularly inspect the attic ventilation for evidence of moisture, rot, and humidity.
An older home is less likely to be properly insulated. Check the insulation in your attic and the possibility of leaks around your heating and cooling equipment.
Remember that you can increase the efficiency of your HVAC by replacing filters as needed and insulating ducts and water pipes.
Lighting occupies a significant portion of your home’s electric bill. Switching to efficient lighting options like LED or CFL lights will cut your cost while also reducing the heat emitted by these light bulbs.
If you live in Illinois and Ohio, a reliable, low-cost retail electric supplier such as MC2 is also helpful in reducing the bills from lights in your house.
A home energy audit will not only help you better deal with your electricity expenses but also allow you to be more energy-efficient for the well-being of our planet.
The cost depends on the company you choose to conduct the audit and the size of your property. Generally, larger homes are charged at a higher rate. Some companies charge a fixed rate, no matter the size.
The upfront cost of a home energy audit may seem steep at first. But considering your safety and the amount of saving on your utility bill, it’s totally worth it.