American homeowners and renters pay a little over $114 per month for electricity, on average.
That’s a lot of money – and sometimes, your bills can start to creep even higher before you realize it.
If you suspect that you’re paying too much for energy, it’s a good time for a home energy assessment. A simple assessment can help determine ways for you to lower your energy bill costs.
How can you tell when it’s time for an energy assessment? There are a few common tip-offs around the house that can let you know. Let’s take a look at six ways to know it’s time to assess your home’s energy efficiency.
1. Windows Are Leaky
When you stand near your home’s windows, does it feel colder or hotter than it should?
Windows are one of the first places where homes can start to lose energy. If the air outside is getting in through cracks near the windows, you are spending more on energy to keep your home at the proper temperature. Your air conditioning and heat systems are literally working to heat and cool the air from outside when this happens.
An energy assessment can help you know if your windows are a source of the problem. Window replacements can do wonders for energy efficiency. You might need to change your single-pane windows, or even just fix leaks in the windowsills.
Even if you have efficient windows in your home, they can wear out over time, becoming warped and damaged enough to let outside air in. Energy assessments help you know when it’s time for a repair or replacement.
2. Insulation Isn’t Working
Insulation is another place where your home can lose a lot of energy quickly.
Your home’s insulation might be lacking – for example, you can often air-seal existing insulation. Your attic, basement, or workshop space might also benefit from added insulation to lower your energy costs.
A professional auditor can figure out where the cold or hot spots in your home’s walls are using thermal cameras. That way, any places where insulation isn’t doing its job – or isn’t there at all – will be found with precision.
When you upgrade your home with energy efficient insulation, you’ll see a huge difference in those monthly bills. If you have areas of your home that aren’t insulated, if you feel hot or cold spots, or if you aren’t sure about the state of your insulation, it’s time to schedule an audit.
3. Other Leaks Exist
Windows and walls aren’t the only places in your home where air leaks can affect energy efficiency.
A machine called a blower door can be used to find any other leaks in your home. Your auditor will put a blower door, which is really just an intense fan, in an exterior door frame. The fan is used to suck the air out of your home, which reduces the air pressure inside.
Once this happens, the air pressure outside is much higher than the air pressure inside. This outside air will find ways to get in, pointing to any leaks or cracks in your home’s exterior. The auditor will be able to not only determine whether or not these leaks exist but figure out where they are and how to fix them.
4. Appliances Are Outdated
Surprisingly, hanging onto old appliances for too long can actually cost you.
It’s tempting to think that keeping your ancient washer and dryer is a good way to save money. After all, many home appliances are costly to replace.
However, an inefficient refrigerator or washing machine actually becomes a money drain, raising your energy bills every month.
The best appliances for your home will be the efficient, Energy-Star qualified models that the Department of Energy recommends. An auditor can help determine if your dryer, dishwasher, or other appliances are causing you problems.
Although there’s an initial cost for installing a new appliance, it will be worth it when you save money on your energy bills for years to come.
5. Heating or Cooling Systems Are Old
Just as with your appliances, old or poorly maintained heating and cooling systems can be costly in terms of home energy.
Regular maintenance and professional cleaning are important for keeping furnaces and air conditioning systems running smoothly. If yours haven’t been maintained over the years, or if you aren’t sure what maintenance has been done on the systems in your home, it’s a good time to schedule an assessment.
Older units will likely need to be replaced for the sake of efficiency. Just as with appliances, the newer, efficient systems will quickly pay for themselves by saving you money each month.
6. Lighting Is Inefficient
You probably know it’s best to turn off lights before you leave the house each day. But do you know about all the other ways your home’s lighting can save you in terms of energy?
Replacing your bulbs is a great start – there are more efficient options out there than the standard light bulb, such as compact fluorescent lamps, incandescents, and LED lights.
However, an assessment can help find other ways lighting is impacting your home’s energy efficiency. Installing dimmers, timers, or motion sensors for your lights can help ensure they’re only on when they’re needed, and only as bright as they need to be.
An auditor will ask you questions about how you use each room in your home, how many people live there, and other things that can help determine what your best plan of action is for lighting and other updates.
Schedule an Energy Assessment Today
Ready to save money on your energy bills each month?
A professional assessment will ensure you get the most savings with the least work. Your auditor will find exactly where the problem areas in your home are and help you target them with a plan.
Once the required updates have been made, make sure you stay on top of maintenance so your home will maintain its efficiency in the years to come.
If your home shows one of the six signs above, it’s time to schedule your assessment now. Call us today to get started!