The Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit: How A 1-Day Project Can Reap Long-Term Savings

Summer cooling bills add up fast in the San Antonio area, given our high heat and humidity. However, if you spend a few hours conducting an energy audit, you can identify the places in your home where you have air infiltration or insufficient insulation — problems that contribute to higher energy bills. Luckily, it’s easy to correct these problems for little cost, and you’ll see a significant long-term payback.

Air Leaks

One test energy professionals use to find air leaks is the blower door test. You can conduct a similar test yourself using the following steps:

  • Draw a simple layout of your home.
  • Close all the windows and exterior doors.
  • Turn off any gas-burning appliances and turn on the kitchen and bathroom fans.
  • Light a stick of incense and walk through your home and note on the layout where you see the smoke move more than it should.
  • Pay special attention to the window and exterior door frames, places where pipes, cables or wires enter your home, and electrical outlets and switches that sit on exterior walls. These are the most common areas for leakage.

Once you’ve found the leaks, you’ll need to seal them. Use:

  • Exterior caulk on windows.
  • Specially-made foam gaskets for electrical boxes and switches.
  • Weatherstripping around door frames.
  • Expanding foam, exterior caulk or loose insulation to fill gaps around pipes, cables or wires.

Insulation

The next step of your energy audit involves checking the insulation in your attic. If you can see the top of the joists, there’s probably room for more. Blown-in or batt insulation are inexpensive and easy to install.

Wall insulation is harder to check, but can provide a reasonable payback if your existing insulation is insufficient. Select an electrical outlet resting on an exterior wall, turn off its circuit breaker and remove the cover plate. Look for insulation. If there’s room for more, you can blow cellulose or loose fiberglass inside.

HVAC Maintenance

Besides sealing leaks and adding more insulation, you can lower your electric bills by maintaining your HVAC system. Some tasks you can do on your own, like changing filters, but others require the skilled hand of a trained HVAC technician.

If you need HVAC maintenance, or would like to ask for more energy saving advice, contact us today. The Beyer Boys have been serving the HVAC needs of San Antonio homeowners since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Beyer Boys services San Antonio, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!

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