If you’re finding it nearly impossible to keep your home cool this summer, the problem might not be with your air conditioner. It could be your home.
There are multiple areas throughout the house where costly conditioned air could be escaping. A home performance evaluation, also known as a home energy audit, is conducted by trained professionals who can identify areas of energy loss through visual inspection, a blower test and an infrared scan, among other methods.
Finding and fixing the problem spots will improve comfort in both summer and winter while drastically reducing your energy bill. Homeowners who go through this process and optimize their home per our recommendations can save as much as 25% on their electricity bills.
Here are the four most common locations where cool air could be leaking.
Window seals fail over time. When that happens, your windows lose their insulating value, allowing the transfer of warm and cool air. As a result, your air conditioning system will have to work harder to compensate for the continued loss of cool air.
It could also be that you have old, single-pane windows which are notoriously inefficient.
If either of these is the case, your home performance evaluator might recommend having your windows professionally sealed or replacing them with energy-efficient double pane windows, which can save as much as $465 a year on your energy bill, according to Energy Star.
2. Exterior Doors
Just like windows, your doors contribute greatly to the efficiency of your home. Using a blower test, your energy auditor will determine if air is leaking through gaps in your exterior doors. If that’s the case, weatherstripping will be in order. You might even consider replacing your exterior doors. New doors resist solar radiation and fit better to reduce energy loss.
Ducts deliver conditioned air to every room in your home. However, conditioned air could be escaping to places where it’s not needed, such as the attic, garage or crawlspace. This puts a tremendous amount of stress on your cooling system. Meanwhile, your home will have inconsistent temperatures and your energy bills will go through the roof.
An energy auditor will pinpoint the precise location of a leak (or leaks) and recommend that they be properly sealed.
Attic ventilation is often overlooked, yet it plays a critical part in the efficiency of your home. Air with nowhere to go turns your attic into an oven with temperatures soaring above 150 degrees. That’s a lot of heat radiating right above your head, which could impact your comfort without adequate insulation. The ideal temperature of your attic shouldn’t be much different from the outside temperature. Proper ventilation helps achieve this.
Insulation should provide an effective barrier between the exterior and interior temperatures, keeping cool air in and hot air out, and vice versa during the winter months. However, it could be that your insulation just isn’t cutting it. Insulation with a low R-value, which measures thermal resistance, will allow for some exchange of heat. Plus, insulation can become compromised over time due to mold or moisture damage. If that is the case, your energy auditor may recommend upgrading to more efficient insulation.
Bottom line: Getting a OptiHome Home Performance Evaluation is your first step toward lowering your energy bill and improving your comfort. To schedule an appointment, call 972-388-3669.