If you’d like to lower your household energy consumption and curb high utility bills, performing some simple energy tests can help you find and address inefficiencies.
Here are some tips on what to look for in areas where waste often occurs, so you can take steps to save energy:
- Air leaks in the envelope. Leaks in the exterior shell can add 10–20 percent to the yearly energy usage in an average home. Finding and sealing leaks using caulk, weatherstripping and expandable foam insulation can help curtail this waste. On the interior, check where walls and ceilings meet, along baseboards and around electrical boxes on your exterior walls. Outdoors, check around windows and doors, where different structural components meet, along the foundation and where pipes, wiring and vents pass through the shell.
- Phantom loads or “energy vampires.” Appliances, electronics and other devices with indicator lights, remote controls, digital clocks, or AC adapters on their power cords drain energy even when they’re not in use. To stop this energy drain, put such items on power strips and shut them down when they’re not being used.
- Energy losses in the attic. To stop heat transfer into your living areas, make sure that any leaks are sealed around the attic floor, that you have a vapor barrier in place, and that the floor is insulated to R-38. The attic access hatch should also be insulated to the same level and weatherstripped to ensure it’s tightly sealed.
- Leaky, deficient ductwork. Ductwork that’s not properly sealed and insulated can waste up to 30 percent of the conditioned air produced by your HVAC system. To check whether your ductwork is deficient, check for damage, disconnections, gaps and a lack of insulation on any ducts running through your garage, crawl space, and attic.
For a more in-depth assessment of your home’s efficiency, have a professional energy audit performed. An auditor uses specialized tests and tools, like thermographic scans and blower doors, to locate areas most in need of improvement.
Contact us at CCAC to learn more about performing energy tests to improve efficiency in your Coastal Bend home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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