At-home energy tests are a useful starting point for making your home more energy efficient. They give you a good sense of where your house is losing energy and what you can do to correct the energy-wasting problems. Take these steps when performing an at-home energy test.
- Locate air leaks – First, list the areas where air leaks are likely to occur, such as wall-ceiling junctures, edges of the floor, electrical outlets, doors, windows, fireplace dampers, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Look for cracks, gaps, holes and other openings in these areas and seal them with the appropriate caulk or weatherstripping.
- Inspect the attic – Check if your attic hatch closes tightly, is weather stripped and insulated as heavily as your attic. Inspect the openings for chimneys, pipes, and ductwork. Seal gaps with a permanent, non-combustible sealant such as expanding foam caulk. Make sure insulation isn't blocking your attic vents.
- Examine wall insulation – Choose one exterior wall and turn off electricity. Remove the covers of electrical outlets on the wall. Probe inside the wall with a screwdriver or long stick. Slight resistance shows there's some insulation material there.
- Inspect HVAC equipment – If you have a forced-air system, check the condition of the air filter. Change it if it's dirty. Inspect your ducts for dirt streaks, particularly around seams. These are a sign of air leaks. Use duct mastic to seal them. If your unit is older than 15 years, consider upgrading to a newer, more efficient one.
- Get professional energy assessment – After completing your energy test, it's best to call in an HVAC contractor to carry out professional tests. The professional will examine each room and do more thorough energy tests such as a thermographic scan and blower door test using advanced tools. Your at-home energy test findings will help the pro assess your home better.
The efficiency upgrades you make following energy tests can help you save substantially on your energy bill. If you need help with performing energy tests at your home, contact us at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Fort Wayne area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area 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 260-376-2961.
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