The Importance of Home Energy Audits

Keeping a home comfortable and safe requires energy, and heating water accounts for a significant portion of a household’s energy usage. While hot water is necessary for everyday chores like showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry, it’s important to recognize the role it plays in a home’s overall energy consumption. That’s where energy audits come in – these assessments help homeowners identify areas for improvement when it comes to energy efficiency.

Understanding Energy Audits

An energy audit is a comprehensive review of a home’s energy usage and the systems that support it. Trained professionals conduct energy audits and use specialized tools to measure energy use, air leakage, and other factors that can impact a home’s energy efficiency. Typically, a good audit will cover the following areas:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Insulation and air sealing
  • Lighting and appliances
  • Water heating

By measuring these different areas of a home’s energy usage, auditors can provide homeowners with specific recommendations for improving energy efficiency.

The Significance of Water Heating

Water heating is one of the most significant energy uses in a home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating accounts for up to 18% of a home’s energy use. And while hot water is indisputably necessary for daily life, it’s important to consider the different ways that energy is used to heat water.

There are a few types of water heaters available, but the vast majority of homes in the U.S. rely on natural gas water heaters. These units work by heating water through a gas burner, which can be an inefficient process. In fact, older natural gas water heaters may only be 50% efficient, meaning that half of the fuel used to heat the water is wasted.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Water Heating

The good news is that there are many strategies for improving energy efficiency when it comes to water heating. Some of the most effective include:

  • Upgrading to a newer, more efficient unit: Today’s natural gas water heaters can be up to 97% efficient, and upgrading from an older model can lead to significant energy savings.
  • Using a tankless water heater: Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity because they can heat water on demand, rather than constantly heating a large amount of water in a tank.
  • Installing a heat pump water heater: These units use electricity to transfer heat from the air or ground to the water, making them a more energy-efficient option.

An energy auditor can help homeowners decide which of these strategies is best for their particular situation. By assessing a home’s energy usage and identifying areas for improvement, an auditor can provide specific recommendations on how to save money and reduce energy waste.


Water heating is a crucial part of daily life, but it’s also a significant portion of a home’s energy usage. Home energy audits are an essential tool for identifying areas for improvement when it comes to energy efficiency and water heating. By assessing a home’s energy usage and making specific recommendations for improvement, an energy auditor can help save homeowners money and reduce their overall energy usage.

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