Arranging for professional energy evaluations may be one of the best things you can do to lower your heating and cooling bills for decades to come. These evaluations use specialized equipment that identifies where the air leaks and poor insulation are in your home. The Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling account for about half the amount of money you spend on energy costs each year, so identifying and fixing the problems will make a difference in your utility bills.
What to expect in energy evaluations
The evaluation typically starts with a blower door test, which uses a large fan nestled inside an adjustable frame placed in an exterior doorway. After readying your home for the test, the auditor or HVAC contractor turns the fan on, and it pulls the air outdoors. The pressure drops, and contractors who use calibrated doors watch the air pressure gauge. If the air pressure falls quickly, it means that your home is fairly tight. When it takes a while, it means that you have air infiltration.
The technicians identify the air leaks by using thermographic equipment that shows the contrasting color temperatures of the incoming air. If there’s not much difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature, contractors can use harmless smoke pencils that indicate drafts. Most of the time the drafts enter around window and door frames, around the sill plate connecting the basement with the first floor and anyplace where pipes, wires and cables enter the home. Most of these leaks are easy to seal with caulk or expanding foam.
Another important step in energy evaluations can involve identifying whether you have loose ductwork. If your home’s ductwork is not properly sealed, you could be losing air to the uninhabitable parts of your home. Loose ducts can also pull carbon monoxide into your home, creating a dangerous situation.
If you would like to learn more about how energy evaluations and ductwork inspection can help you, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services for the greater Cleveland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy evaluations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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