Energy evaluations can help you to identify places in your home where air leaks into and out of your home. Energy evaluations can be performed by professionals who will use special equipment such as infrared cameras to detect leaks. You can also perform an energy evaluation on your own â€“ if you know where to look for leaks and how to fix them.
Why perform energy evaluations?
Performing an energy evaluation to identify air leaks is important to saving both money and energy because:
- Air leaks can significantly add to your heating load (the amount of energy required to heat your home).
- They can therefore increase the costs to both heat and cool your home.
- A larger heating or cooling load can even shorten the life span of your HVAC equipment, as these systems will have to work harder to keep your house at the desired temperature.
How to perform energy evaluations
If you don’t wish to bring in a professional to conduct an energy evaluation, it is easy to do on your own:
- Start by turning off your HVAC equipment and lighting incense or a candle. The smoke from the incense or candle will be drawn to any cracks, gaps or leaks where air is drawn out of your home. You can follow the smoke along the air currents to identify leaks.
- Focus on areas inside your home where leaks are most likely to occur, including around windows and doors; at the access panel to the attic; around outlets, light sockets, switches, and phone jacks; or near baseboards.
- Focus on areas outside your home where leaks are common, including eaves, water lines, near the chimney, gables and flues.
While a do-it-yourself assessment will reveal leaks, a professional assessment goes further, by providing details about energy losses due to hidden air leaks and deteriorating insulation.
Leaks should be properly sealed when identified. You can do this yourself if you know how to use caulk and weather stripping, or you can seek the help of a professional.
Locate and seal leaks, and see your energy savings grow. For more information on improving the energy efficiency of your home, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating.
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