An energy-efficient building or system to perform its intended function while consuming less energy. It saves you money on utility bills, reduces your carbon footprint, and helps the environment. Key factors that impact a building’s energy efficiency include insulation, heating and cooling systems, appliances, lighting, and overall design.

Insulation – Key to thermal efficiency

Insulation is crucial in maintaining an indoor temperature while minimising energy consumption. During a building inspection, your inspector should thoroughly evaluate the insulation levels in various areas of the property, including:

  1. Attic insulation – Proper attic insulation prevents heat transfer, reducing the strain on your cooling systems.
  2. Wall insulation – Well-insulated walls help maintain a consistent temperature throughout the home, improving overall energy efficiency.
  3. Basement or crawl space insulation – Insulating basements or crawl spaces prevent heat loss or gain through the foundation, further enhancing energy efficiency.

Inspectors may use specialised equipment, such as infrared cameras, to detect areas of poor insulation or air leaks, significantly impacting energy efficiency.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

HVAC systems are responsible for a significant portion of a building’s energy consumption. During the inspection, your inspector should evaluate the HVAC equipment’s age, condition, and efficiency. Look for:

  • Energy efficiency ratings – Modern HVAC systems are energy-efficient, resulting in better performance and lower operating costs.
  • Proper sizing – An appropriately sized HVAC system leads to efficient operation and higher energy consumption.
  • Ductwork inspection – Poorly insulated ductwork results in significant energy loss and reduced system performance.

Your inspector may recommend upgrading to a more energy-efficient HVAC system or suggest repairs and maintenance to improve the existing system’s performance. navigate here for building inspections Sydney.

Windows and doors – Energy gateways

Windows and doors are often overlooked regarding energy efficiency, but they are crucial in regulating heat transfer. During the inspection, your inspector should assess:

  1. Window glazing – Double or triple-glazed windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings significantly improve insulation and reduce energy loss.
  2. Window frame materials – Energy-efficient windows, such as vinyl or fibreglass, offer better insulation than traditional materials like aluminium.
  3. Door sealing and weather-stripping – Properly sealed and weather-stripped doors can prevent air leaks, reducing energy waste and improving comfort.

Replacing old, inefficient windows and doors is a worthwhile investment, potentially lowering energy costs and increasing the overall value of your property.

Lighting and appliances – Hidden energy drains

While often overlooked, lighting and appliances significantly impact a building’s energy consumption. Your inspector should evaluate:

  • Light bulb types – Energy-efficient LED or CFL bulbs can save substantial energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Appliance energy ratings – Buy Energy Star-rated appliances to save money on utility bills and meet strict energy efficiency standards.
  • Lighting controls – Motion sensors, dimmers, and timers optimize energy efficiency by reducing unnecessary lighting.

You further optimise your property’s energy performance by identifying opportunities to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting.