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Complete Guide for Home Energy Audit [General and Individual Audit]

Lowering energy consumption reduces bills and boosts your home’s overall efficiency. So, understanding your home’s current efficiency is essential to optimizing your energy use. Furthermore, our complete guide will teach you how to conduct a thorough home energy audit. You’ll learn what to inspect, the equipment needed, and the professional services that can help. Conducting an energy audit can greatly enhance your home’s efficiency. You’ll pinpoint which appliances need upgrading, reduce energy costs, and make your home more comfortable. By following our expert suggestions, you can save money and energy immediately. Don’t miss out on these valuable insights—read the full post to learn how to maximize your home’s energy efficiency and enjoy the benefits of a more efficient, cost-effective living space!

Quick Overview About Home Energy Audit

A home energy efficiency audit is an in-depth evaluation of your home’s energy consumption designed to identify opportunities to reduce energy use and lower utility bills. This process involves examining various components of your home, such as insulation, heating and cooling systems, doors, windows, and appliances, to assess their energy efficiency. Preparation is key for a successful audit. Begin by gathering past energy bills to understand your typical energy usage patterns. 

This baseline data will help you measure the improvements and savings achieved after implementing energy-saving measures. Conducting a home energy audit can uncover hidden inefficiencies and suggest practical solutions to enhance your home’s energy performance. By making the recommended upgrades, you can significantly decrease energy consumption, save money, and create a more comfortable and sustainable living environment.

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Tips on Doing a House Energy Audit

1. Know Your Energy Usage

Understanding and managing your home’s energy usage is essential for reducing costs and increasing efficiency. These steps will help you better understand and manage your energy usage, leading to cost savings and improved efficiency. Here are three practical tips to help you assess your energy consumption:

  • Monitor Your Energy Consumption: Review your energy bills to track how many kilowatt-ho
  • urs (kWh) your home uses each month. Compare this data to the average usage in your area to see if you are consuming more or less energy than typical households.
  • Compare to Local Averages: If your energy consumption significantly exceeds the average in your area—by more than 10 kWh per day, for instance—it’s a clear sign to investigate your home’s energy usage. Knowing the typical energy consumption in your area provides a benchmark for identifying inefficiencies.
  • Identify High-Usage Areas: Pinpoint which areas of your home consume the most energy. Check appliances, heating and cooling systems, and insulation quality. Identifying high-usage regions can help you prioritize upgrades and improvements to reduce energy consumption.

2. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances can greatly reduce energy bills, lower environmental footprint and reduce energy use. We outlined some tips you can follow if you need to learn how to start. That way, you can make informed decisions about upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, saving money, and reducing energy consumption. Here are some tips to help you make the best choices when replacing old appliances for your household energy audit:

  • Identify High-Energy Users: Identify the appliances in your home that consume the most energy. Old refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners are often the biggest culprits. Replacing these with energy-efficient models can lead to substantial savings.
  • Switch to LED Lighting: Replace outdated lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Also, avoid using downlights, which can allow warm air to escape your room. Opt for heating or cooling systems that regulate the temperature in individual rooms rather than the entire house, ensuring energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Check Energy Star Ratings: Look for the Energy Star label when shopping for new appliances. Appliances with high Energy Star ratings are certified to be more energy-efficient, saving you money in the long run. Remember, different appliances are rated based on specific functions, so compare ratings accordingly.
  • Calculate Operating Costs: Use online tools to estimate the operating costs of new appliances. This can help you understand the long-term savings on your energy bills and justify the initial investment in energy-efficient models.

3. Check for Leaks

Ensuring your home is properly sealed is essential for energy efficiency and comfort. Here’s how to check for leaks and drafts around your house: 

  • Inspect for Drafts: Look for cracks and gaps where the floor meets the walls or where the walls meet the ceiling, both inside and outside your home.
  • Check Windows, Doors, and More: Examine windows, doors, lights, pipes, switches, and power outlets for any gaps that may allow air to pass through.
  • Consider a Blower Door Test: For a precise assessment of air leaks, consider a Blower Door Test, which identifies areas where your home lacks proper sealing.
  • Perform a DIY Test: You don’t need fancy equipment to identify drafts. On a chilly, breezy day, turn off fuel-burning appliances, close all openings, and use fans to create negative pressure indoors. Hold a smoking stick near potential leak areas; if the smoke behaves oddly, you’ve likely found a draft. Alternatively, use your hand to feel for cold drafts. It’s that simple!
  • Nighttime Inspection: Shine a flashlight over suspected cracks while someone checks from outside. Light beams indicate significant cracks.
  • Paper Test: Don’t worry if you’re not sure about the draft. Just close a door or window on a strip of paper or money. If you can easily pull it out, there’s likely air leakage, wasting energy. It’s a foolproof way to detect drafts.
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How to Do a Home Energy Audit (Individual)

1. Appliances

In some homes, appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines can consume up to 30% of the household’s total energy. Here are some tips you can follow to save energy usage:

  • Remember which appliances you use most frequently.
  • Check your surroundings. If you’re not using an appliance, is it switched off at the wall? Develop the habit of turning off the wall switch after using an appliance instead of leaving it on or in ‘standby’ mode.
  • The Northern Territory’s abundant sunshine is perfect for drying clothes. To conserve energy, hang your laundry outside instead of using a dryer.
  • Optimize the use of your washing machine and dishwasher. Avoid running them when they are not full. Wait until you have a full load before starting a cycle. Doing fewer loads saves both energy and water.

2. Refrigeration

Certain appliances, especially refrigerators, must work much harder to maintain their cooling efficiency during warm weather. This increased effort results in higher electricity usage. The additional strain on the refrigerator’s cooling system can impact overall energy usage, making monitoring and optimizing its performance during hotter months essential.

  • Inspect the seals on your refrigerator to ensure they keep the cold and warm air in. A useful tip: close the fridge door on a piece of paper. If the paper slides out smoothly, it might be time to replace the seals.
  • To maintain optimal efficiency, you can control your energy consumption by setting your refrigerator temperature between 3°C and 5 °C. 
  • Ensure there is adequate space behind your refrigerator for proper air circulation.
  • Evaluate the usage of your second refrigerator. If you use it sparingly, consider whether you need it.

3. Hot Water

Using a hot water heat pump accounts for approximately 23% of your home’s energy consumption, so it’s crucial to consider this to reduce energy usage. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Ideally, you should set the temperature of your hot water between 60°C and 65°C.
  • Take shorter showers to conserve water and reduce the energy needed to heat it. Aim for showers lasting less than 4 minutes.
  • Repair any dripping taps to avoid water waste.
  • If your water heater is outdated, consider replacing it with a newer model, such as a solar-powered one with a 5-star energy rating.
  • Upgrade your shower head to one with a 3-star rating or higher.
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Tips for Upgrading to Energy-Efficient Products

In upgrading your appliances, you need to prioritize your hot water system and air conditioner. Upgrading to a multi-split air conditioning system and a hot water heat pump enhances energy efficiency, reduces utility bills, and offers precise temperature control for individual rooms. Multi-split systems are space-saving and quieter, ensuring comfort without disrupting your living environment. Hot water heat pumps use ambient air to heat water, significantly cutting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. These upgrades provide long-term cost savings, improved comfort, and a smaller environmental footprint, making them a smart investment for any home. Furthermore, if you want to have a eat pump and air conditioner rebate, you can take advantage of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program.

  • Contact Opt Energy, an accredited provider of the VEU scheme, for expert advice on selecting your home’s most energy-efficient heat pump and reverse-cycle air conditioner.
  • Ensure your chosen equipment and installation process meet the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program’s eligibility criteria to qualify for rebates.
  • Schedule an energy assessment with Opt Energy to receive personalized recommendations and a detailed plan for your upgrade.
  • Work with Opt Energy to install your new system, ensuring all work complies with VEU standards for maximum efficiency and rebates.
  • Regularly service your new equipment and monitor your energy usage to maintain efficiency and achieve long-term savings.

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