If you suspect your home’s energy efficiency could be better, spending time to conduct your own energy tests
could save you money. Learning where your home is losing energy gives you the information you need to make improvements that will increase its comfort and lower monthly bills.
Look for Leaks
Air leakage through the exterior walls of your home adds up to considerable energy losses. To find them, examine the exterior walls of your home, focusing on the window and exterior door frames. Small cracks between the frames let air in and out year-round. Pipes, wires and cables not only let air in, they also serve as entry points for insects.
Check the Insulation
The only way to prevent heat from entering and leaving through the attic is to have ample insulation inside it. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends from 13 to 20 inches inside the attic for this climate. A trip to the attic for this part of the energy tests wearing protective clothing and a dust mask will show you how much you have and its condition.
If you can see the tops of the joists at first glance, you need more. Use a metal tape measure or ruler to find how many inches you already. In addition, look for areas where the insulation is compressed, damp, or moldy, which lowers its ability to resist heat transfer.
Some homes in this area have ductwork that goes through the attic that may also have leaks. Look for areas of excessive dust around the ductwork. If you see any problems, contact your HVAC contractor. Ductwork leaks
add up to wasted energy dollars in proportion to their size.
HVAC professionals can provide a thorough and precise energy audit
that includes an assessment of your heating and cooling system, as well as air infiltration testing for the ductwork and the home’s envelope.
If you don’t know how efficient your home is, energy tests will reveal it and give you a roadmap for home improvements with high payoffs. To learn more, contact Russell’s Heating & Cooling
, serving Hampton Roads-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy tests and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 757-750-1831.
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