Give Your Home an Energy Audit- Electricity in Florida- Duane Wright Florida energy and air – Healthy homes America
Give Your Home an Energy Audit – Electricity in Clearwater Florida- If you want to keep your energy bills as low as possible, you’ll have to get the most out of the energy your appliances use. Getting maximum efficiency is particularly important when it comes to the biggest energy users in your home, such as your furnace and refrigerator. While you can always make small changes here and there to improve your home’s energy efficiency, it’s probably a good idea to take a comprehensive approach and do the job right, fixing everything in one go. In order to figure out what to do in your home, you’ll have to do an energy audit.
What’s an energy audit? It’s a lot like an IRS tax audit, but a little bit less stressful. Instead of accounting for the money you earned, during an energy audit you will be accounting for what happens to the energy in your home. While you can have someone else perform this evaluation for you, the process is well within the capabilities of most homeowners. There are two components to an energy audit: first, you must ascertain where energy is being wasted. Second, you must make a plan to correct these inefficiencies.
The United States Department of Energy describes the process for a do-it-yourself home energy audit. As you walk through your home, keep a pad of paper and a pen with you so you can keep track of the spots you have examined and the problems you have found. The first thing to do is to look for air leaks. During hot summer afternoons, that cool, conditioned air that keeps you comfortable escapes through all of the drafts in your home. Look for gaps in between doors and windows and their jambs; lots of air is transferred through these spaces. Drafts can even exist in electrical switchplates if not sealed properly. After all, these are holes in the drywall that lets the outdoors in (and vice versa).
If it’s hard to find those tiny leaks (or you really enjoy being thorough), you can do a rudimentary pressurization test to find the gaps you missed the first time. Close all of your doors and windows; shut your home out to the elements as much as possible. Then, create an air current by turning on your home’s exhaust fan or putting a single fan in one of your windows. If you walk around with a lit stick of incense, you will be able to see the swirling smoke as it shows you where your home has been compromised.
Call us today at (855) 233-9823 or visit us at Healthyhomesamerica.com
Duane Wright – Florida Energy And Air Services, Inc.
Clearwater, Tampa, Saint Petersburg Florida
A proper energy audit of your home will include a trip up to the attic to see if you have enough insulation and a “vapor barrier;” a layer of tarpaper or vinyl. It’s also important to service your heating and cooling equipment. If you don’t have a fresh filter in your furnace, the device will work harder to produce the heat you expect, and this consumes more fuel. According to one estimate cited by Elizabeth Souder, reporter for the Dallas Morning News, 86 percent of homes in the Dallas, Texas area have leaky ducts. This can cost the average homeowner a great deal over time.
Another way to reduce the amount of energy your home wastes is to look at the level of lighting with which you’ve equipped your home. The Department of Energy claims that approximately 10% of your home electricity costs go toward seeing in the dark. Replace those 75-watt bulbs with 40-watt bulbs where possible. Better yet, replace those old incandescent bulbs with those energy-efficient CFL bulbs.
If all of these small measures seem as though they can’t have a big effect, take a virtual trip to the Home Energy Saver, an online energy audit developed by the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. According to their calculations, powering the average home in Fort Worth, Texas costs $2,005 per year. Heating, cooling, major appliances and small appliances each account for approximately one-fifth of that cost. The Laboratory estimates that an “efficient” home in Fort Worth will only cost $1197 to supply with power. (The biggest gains in efficiency, not surprisingly, come in the areas of heating and cooling.)
This online audit also allows you to customize your own estimate, giving you places to refine the data used to generate it. For example, whether or not your home has wall insulation or if you have standalone freezers can have a big effect on your energy usage. Once you do one of these audits having put in your real information, you can try it again, checking out the savings you would experience from switching from central air to a room air conditioner.
Sure, checking your attic for insulation is not the most fun you can have on a Saturday afternoon, it is all worth it at the end of the month, when you realize how much money you are saving.