After opening their summer utility bills, many Longboat Key, Florida, area homeowners wonder how to lower their cooling costs and increase their HVAC system’s efficiency. One simple way to increase system performance and lower costs is by having a home energy audit done.
What Is a Home Energy Audit?
One of Aqua Plumbing & Air’s experts will examine every room in your home and your past energy bills, in addition to conducting special tests to find areas in your home where things can improve.
You’ll get a detailed report showing things that need to be fixed or changed to increase efficiency. You’ll work with our technician to decide what repairs or improvements need immediate attention and what you can have done later.
What Are the Benefits of a Home Energy Audit?
The most obvious benefit of an audit is decreased utility costs. In addition to ensuring your cooling and heating systems run safely, when you integrate upgrades you can save between 5 and 30 percent on your bills.
Having an audit done pinpoints problems with precision, so you don’t spend money on improvements that don’t solve your energy issues. You wouldn’t want to spend thousands on changes that don’t help lower your bill.
When your home is more energy-efficient, your cooling system won’t have to work as hard. As a result, you won’t pay for repairs as often and your system will last longer. You should still have yearly maintenance checks done. A well-maintained system is more efficient and has a longer life.
How a Homeowner Energy Audit Is Done
One of the biggest energy problems is drafts in your home. Windows and doors are obvious sources of drafts, but there are other culprits as well. Look for gaps along baseboards, floors, and where the walls meet the ceiling. Lights, faucets, switches, and outlets may also be drafty spots.
Plug draft-causing holes with foam or caulk. Windows and doors sealed with weatherstripping prevent air from coming in or escaping. By sealing drafty spots, you could save 10 to 20 percent per year on energy.
A large amount of energy loss through walls and ceilings occurs if insulation levels aren’t correct for your home. In your attic, check for cracks or holes around pipes and ductwork and that the attic vent is not blocked. If you have a crawl space, you should have insulation lining the floors unless the space has heating or cooling equipment, plumbing, or ductwork. If it does, insulation placed along the outer walls will help.
Any openings around pipes and vents need to be plugged with spray foam. Spreading insulation under floors or around walls is an easy and simple way to improve efficiency.
Lighting up your home accounts for around 10 percent of utility cost. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or LED bulbs. Some electric companies give rebates for changing older bulbs to these lighting options. Our trained electricians can give you advice about lighting options, too.
Electronics and Appliances
What electronic devices and appliances your family enjoys, and how often they use them, affects energy use. One way of reducing cost is to unplug devices when they’re not being used. Replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient models helps decrease the utility bill, as well as changing settings to keep appliances from running when not in use.
Why Should You Have a Professional Energy Audit?
Conducting a personal energy audit is a smart choice, but without professional tools and diagnostics, your home may still lose energy. Our technicians bring specialized tools to your home to test each room for energy loss. Blowers help find drafts, infrared cameras can see where cool or warm air is being lost or let in, and a thermographic analysis of your walls helps us see where your walls need insulating.
No matter your home energy needs, we’re here to help. Our friendly technicians and staff work hard to keep your family comfortable and look forward to helping you improve your home’s energy efficiency. Give Aqua Plumbing & Air a call at 941-306-3715 to start saving soon!
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