Home Energy Audit
With the rising temperatures we continue to see this summer, your air conditioning is probably running non-stop. While this may keep you cool, it’s really heating up your energy bill and can make those monthly payments quite costly. To make sure your air conditioning system is running as efficiently as possible, it’s always a good idea to conduct a home energy audit.
During these audits, all aspects of your home will be reviewed, even beyond the air conditioning system itself. A home energy audit includes various tests that seek to identify air leaks, issues with insulation, and unwanted heat entering your home. These tests are typically done during the winter to find out where cold air is entering your home, but in the summer you can see where cold air is escaping.
A home energy audit can be done by yourself, or with the help of air conditioning pros like those at Carbon Valley. We have many years of auditing experience under our belts and can quickly identify any problem areas in your home.
If you’re looking to get started right away and want to take a look yourself, below are a few ways you can conduct your own DIY home energy audit. When you’re done, there’s a chance you’ll see a 5-30% savings on your energy bill.
Locate and Seal Air Leaks
The air conditioning might be running at full tilt, but if that cold air can’t stay in your home it won’t do you any good. To start your home energy audit you’ll want to look for and identify any air leaks so you can seal them back up.
Looking for leaks can be as simple as going to each door, window, or even around your flooring and using a smoke pencil. These pencils are readily available at all home improvement stores and emit a non-toxic mix of water vapor and glycerin that will show air movement in the area you spray it. If you see air flowing in a manner it shouldn’t, get out the caulking or weather stripping and reseal those areas.
Check Your Insulation
While your home may have insulation already, it’s always important to check how much is being used and the type of insulation you have. Certain types perform better in different climates and materials have gotten more advanced over the years, which can be an issue in older homes.
To begin checking your insulation you’ll want to head into the attic. This will be the easiest place to see how much has been used and if it is still in good shape. While you’re up there, check for any air leaks as well.
If you want to check the insulation in your walls, it will be a little more difficult. First, locate an outlet in the wall. Be sure to turn off your circuit breaker for this next step – you’ll remove the cover plate on this outlet and probe into the wall with a long stick. If you feel resistance as you move the stick around, you have insulation in your walls. If it goes straight through without requiring any pressure, you may have little to no insulation.
One final piece you can quickly check on your own is your home’s lighting. Older incandescent bulbs are inefficient and give off a lot of heat. They’ll cause your energy bill to go up and the increased heat they give off means your air conditioning has to work even harder to cool down your home.
Replace all of those older bulbs with either fluorescent lights or LEDs. LED bulbs are very energy efficient and have a long lifespan so you won’t have to replace them as often.
Purpose of a Home Energy Audit
Besides saving you money on your energy bill by identifying areas of inefficiency in your home, a home energy audit can also help your air conditioning systems last longer. Instead of having to run your air conditioning at all times to keep your home cool, you can instead use it when you need it, knowing you can count on it to properly cool down your home.
Additionally, a home energy audit can help identify problem areas that might be lowering the quality of air in your home. While inspecting your air conditioning unit we might find that the filter needs to be replaced or there are blockages elsewhere. Clearing up those issues will let air flow through your home more easily and will help with removing contaminants from the air.
Getting a Home Energy Audit
If you’ve covered the steps above, but still want to make sure your air conditioning systems are functioning properly and efficiently as they should, give us a call! We have many decades of expertise in evaluating home and commercial air conditioning systems and we can have yours performing it’s best. While we’re at it we can also tune up your air conditioning system, further improving its ability to cool your home as effectively as possible.
For more information on home energy audits, visit Energy.gov for a walk through video.