Summer is a good time to conduct a home energy audit in the Phoenix metro area, since it’s when residents use the most electricity for cooling purposes. A home energy audit will show you exactly where your home has issues related to weak insulation, air infiltration or inefficient windows.
You can start by accessing the Energy Star program’s Yardstick for evaluating how your home performs. When you enter your zip code and the square footage of your home, the software asks you how many kilowatts of electricity you consumed in a year’s period and therms of gas, if applicable. It then evaluates the energy efficiency of your home, compared to others in the same ZIP code. The scale runs from zero to 10, with 10 being the most efficient.
When you know your score, you can start exploring ways to improve your energy efficiency. You can do it yourself or ask a licensed energy auditor to do it for you for a precise home energy audit. Auditors conduct a blower door test that measures the rates and places where air infiltration occurs in your home. Although the cracks can be small, individually they might add up to a lot of square footage. It’s important to find and fix these places because essentially, you’re paying to cool outdoor air.
A home energy auditor or HVAC professional will also check the insulation levels in your walls and attic, along with assessing how well your windows protect your home from heat gain. You can do these, too, by checking your attic. The Department of Energy recommends at least 12 inches in the attic. If you can feel the heat coming through your windows by placing your hand on them during the day, they’re inefficient. You can put up shade screens or consider thermal or Energy Star windows to cut the heat gain.
Wolff Mechanical has served the Phoenix metro area since 1978. We can provide a home energy audit for you to help you plan a way to lower your energy costs. Please contact us to learn more.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).