How to Perform Your Own Home Energy Tests

How to Perform Your Own Home Energy TestsIf you’re like many other homeowners, you’re concerned about reducing your household energy usage and lowering your utility bills. Performing some basic energy tests around your home can help you locate areas where waste is occurring, so you can take steps to improve overall efficiency. Here’s some advice on common areas with inefficiencies and what you can do to save energy.

  • Exterior envelope. Air leakage through the envelope can represent 10–20 percent of total energy usage in the average home. To reduce this waste, you should find and seal leaks with caulk, weatherstripping or expandable spray foam insulation. Indoors, check along baseboards, at wall/ceiling junctures, and inside electrical boxes on exterior walls. Outside, look at the doors and windows, where different building materials meet, along the sill plate and any penetrations for wiring, pipes and vents.
  • Lighting. In a typical home, lighting accounts for about 10 percent of yearly energy consumption. You can save energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with modern, more efficient lighting technologies like light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
  • Attic. The Department of Energy advises insulating an attic floor to R-60 for maximum energy efficiency in our region. For the greatest savings, check that leaks are sealed between the attic and living area below, make sure there’s a vapor barrier on the attic floor and that the level of insulation covers the floor joists. The hatch should insulated and weatherstripped on the attic side as well.
  • Ductwork. Uninsulated, leaky ductwork can lose up to a third of an HVAC system’s conditioned air output. To curb this waste, check the accessible ductwork in your unconditioned attic, garage or basement and make sure it’s properly sealed with mastic and wrapped in R-11 insulation.

To learn about specific deficiencies affecting your home’s efficiency, it’s best to have an in-depth professional energy assessment performed. During an assessment, specialized testing methods are used, such as blower doors and thermographic scans, to pinpoint areas where improvements are needed.

Contact us at C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about performing energy tests to improve efficiency in your Middletown home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York 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 845-367-4482.

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