Professional home energy tests are the best way to learn how your house could be more efficient so you can save money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Although professional audits can pay for themselves as you correct energy loss, another option might be to conduct your own energy tests. Here are a few to try.
Look for air leaks
Sealing air leaks is the no. 1 way you can save money on utility bills and make your home more efficient. Start outdoors and look around the foundation and walls of your home, in particular any place where two different materials meet, checking for cracks. Check corners, outdoor water faucets and where siding and chimneys meet.
Indoors, light an incense stick. Walk around the home, and wave the stick in front of these areas to see if the flame wavers: switch and electrical plates, window and door frames, baseboards, attic hatches, phone or cable lines, pipes that lead to an exterior wall, gas and electrical service entrances, recessed lighting and dryer vents and vents and fans.
Seal all air leaks with insulation and caulk.
Conduct your own building pressurization test to look for leaks.
You can conduct your own building pressurization test by doing the following:
- Turn off all combustion appliances on a cool, windy. day.
- Shut all fireplace flues, as well as windows and exterior doors.
- Turn on exhaust fans, such as those in the bathroom or stove vents and clothes dryer, or place a large fan in a window to suck air out of the house and create negative pressure.
- Pass the lit incense stick around the leak sites mentioned above. Where smoke wavers, there is likely a leak.
Check out your ductwork.
Leaking ductwork can contribute to considerable energy loss. If your ducts are accessible, look them over for gaps between segments, holes or corrosion. Reconnect loose segments with mastic and metal screws; repair holes with metal tape.
To learn more about energy tests, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, a quality leader in air conditioner design and installation since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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