The DIY Energy Audit: A Saturday Project That Can Yield Long-Term Savings
One of the best ways to save money year-round is to conduct your own energy audit. The Department of Energy estimates that half the money people spend on utilities each year goes toward heating and cooling. By searching your home for air leaks, insulation deficits and faulty HVAC equipment, you’ll know where to start increasing the energy efficiency of your home.
Air leaks can account for a substantial increase in your year-round conditioning bills. One of the easiest ways to check for infiltration is to conduct a test that reveals the problem areas. To do this:
- Draw a simple floorplan of your home.
- Close all the windows and exterior doors and turn off any gas- or fuel-burning appliances.
- Turn on all bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
- Walk through your home with a candle or lighted stick of incense.
- Note on the drawing of your home where the flame or smoke moves more than normal.
- These are places to investigate later for air leaks, which you can seal with caulk, expanding foam or weatherstripping.
The easiest place to check for poor insulation during an energy audit is your attic. Heat leaves or enters your home through the roof and when you increase the amount of insulation, it slows the transfer of heat. If you’re not sure if you can add more, snap a photo of your attic or take a sample of the insulation with you to a home improvement center. The staff can help determine your options.
Cleaning your HVAC equipment goes a long way toward improving its efficiency. Change or clean dirty filters for the air handler and clear away any debris and wash away dust on the outdoor compressor. If you haven’t had your system serviced recently, schedule preventive maintenance. This will ensure that your system is running at optimal efficiency.
Air-Tro has been serving the southern California region since 1969 and can help you improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment. Give us a call to learn how we can help lower your bills.
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, visit our website.
Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Los Angeles area as well as the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County.
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