Reducing your home’s cooling and heating load is the most direct way of optimizing energy savings around your house. It is especially important before you upgrade to a new HVAC system because it can help you save money on your new purchase. A home with a reduced cooling and heating load can be properly warmed with a smaller and more affordable system without having to sacrifice any comfort.
The first thing you should do when trying to reduce your home’s cooling and heating load is to have an energy evaluation performed on your house. An energy auditor will inspect the inside and outside of your home, looking for areas that are typically problematic, followed by some routine tests to more accurately pinpoint where air is leaking out. One such test is the blower-door test where a large fan is mounted to an outside door and turned on. This causes the air pressure to drop, allowing outside air to seep in. With the aid of a smoke pencil, you can actually see where these leaks are.
After locating spots that are causing your cooling and heating loads to be higher than they need to be, your auditor will provide you with practical solutions to problems and give you advice on how to boost your home’s overall energy efficiency. The solutions won’t require any changes in your lifestyle and often they are quite inexpensive. Here are a few common suggestions:
- Spread duct mastic over leaks and cracks in your ductwork to make sure no air leaks out and that your HVAC system doesn’t get overworked.
- Use caulk or foam insulation to seal up small air leaks or other drafty areas.
- Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows to keep out drafts.
- Add insulation to your attic and crawlspaces.
After you have minimized your heating and cooling load, you will notice improvements in your comfort as well as a drop in your energy costs.
For more information on calculating and reducing your home’s cooling and heating load, contact Wolff Mechanical today. Our expert technicians will be glad to answer any questions you have about your home’s HVAC system.