It’s important to evaluate the energy efficiency of your HVAC system so that you can investigate the energy losses and replace inefficient HVAC appliances. You can benefit from boosted home efficiency and reduced energy bills.
How to evaluate the energy efficiency of your HVAC system?
Although you need to call in an HVAC professional for through energy efficiency evaluation, you can easily conduct a regular home energy assessment by locating air leaks, fixing insulation, and inspecting your HVAC system. Below, you learn how to go through each of these steps.
1- Locate air leaks in your home
Air leaks are one of the biggest reasons your HVAC system efficiency is low. If you want to perform a home energy assessment, the best place to start is to locate air leaks.
Leaks can be obvious and they can be easily located. But they can also be tiny and difficult to locate. Make sure you look closely around windows and electric outlets to find these tiny cracks causing air leaks.
To easily locate air leaks, simply follow these steps.
- Close all the windows and doors
- Turn off water heating system
- Switch off exhaust fans
- Cut off any other air flows
- Light a few incense sticks near the areas you suspect to have air leaks
- If there is an air leakage, the smoke from incense sticks will get sucked into the crack
Mark these areas and insulate them after you have finished detecting all air leaks in your home using the above steps.
2. Inspect and fix insulation
If you have an old house, you may need to replace your insulation. Many old homes don’t have enough insulation to meet the latest standards for efficient performance of HVAC systems.
Even when you have a new home and it meets today’s insulation standards, it could require repairing or replacement. Insulation can easily break and give way to air, rendering your HVAC system less efficient as it will have to put in extra effort to maintain your indoor temperature. As a result, your energy bills will go higher. Follow these steps to inspect your insulation.
- Inspect attic space closely and make sure it’s insulated
- Paint the interior walls of your attic using waterproof paint to create a vapor barrier
- Check the insulation in the basement on the foundation wall
- Inspect ductwork insulation
- Check hot water pipes and water heater insulation
- Check insulation in the walls
Make sure that you turn off the circuit breaker before you remove the cover plate of an outlet to inspect wall insulation. Most of the times, a thermographic inspection by a professional HVAC technician is what you need in order to properly inspect insulation in exterior walls.
3- Inspect your HVAC system
It’s important to inspect your HVAC system annually to help it perform at maximum efficiency. Preventive maintenance will not only save you hundreds of dollars in annual energy bills but it will also help you reduce the cost of HVAC repairs.
Here are the steps to perform a DIY inspection of your HVAC system. For a thorough inspection, make sure you call a professional HVAC technician.
- Inspect HVAC filters
- Clean or replace them every three months
- When buying new filters, insist on high-efficiency filters
- Inspect ductwork and look for any dirt that might have collected over it
- Use a pressurized duct blaster to inspect ductwork
- Replace your air conditioning unit with a high-efficiency unit if you haven’t done it already
At POE Air, we recommend you regularly inspect your HVAC system and perform preventive maintenance. We also suggest that you program your AC thermostat and insulate pipes to increase the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. Implementing renewable energy devices can also greatly improve your home energy efficiency.