The Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit: A Weekend Project That Can Yield Long-Term Savings
With the intense heat and humidity of Florida’s summers returning, taking a few hours to do an energy audit provides you with a road map to energy savings throughout the year. Going through your home looking for places where your insulation is weak, you have air coming in or leaving the structure, or your HVAC system needs work doesn’t take long and the rewards are immediate and long-term.
Check the attic for sufficient insulation. If your joists are showing, you might have room to add blown-in or batt insulation. Insulation carries an R-value, which indicates how long it can resist heat transfer. Each inch of fiberglass batt insulation provides 3.14 hours of resistance, and blown-in cellulose adds 3.7 hours per inch. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that attics in Florida have a value of R-38, which is 12 inches for fiberglass and 10 inches for blown-in. If your current levels do not meet those depths, adding more can trim your energy bills for years to come.
Checking for places where air leaks or enters your home is an essential part of energy audits. Turning off all your gas appliances, closing the windows and starting all the exhaust fans indoors is a quick way to find the infiltration. Draw a quick floor plan of your home and walk through it with a lighted stick of incense. Look for places where the smoke seems to draw more and note those places on the floor plan. Once you’re done, go back and look for leaks or cracks. Seal with caulk, insulation or expanding foam.
Although some parts of energy audits involving your HVAC equipment involve licensed technicians, you can check your system for dirt, the leading cause of inefficient heating and cooling. Change or clean the filter for the air handler and hose off the outdoor compressor after removing plant debris around it.
Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning, serving central Florida for more than 42 years, can help you complete your energy improvements by cleaning and servicing your HVAC system. Contact us to learn about servicing and maintaining your system.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy audits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Rinaldi’s services Orlando, Florida and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!