Your home leaves behind tracks that reveal its unique energy footprint. In any house, the ways to conserve more energy run the gamut from simple DIY tasks to major efficiency upgrades. When it comes to heating and cooling, the good news is that reducing your energy consumption is often accompanied by increased indoor comfort and lower operating costs.
Here are some ways to downsize your energy footprint for a more comfortable and affordable fit.
Seal The Premises
Most houses that are more than 10 years old have a certain amount of structural slack built in — cracks, gaps and other openings that allow air exchange with the outdoors. Use caulking to close openings with the outdoors, as well as between living spaces and the attic. Next, add weatherstripping to seal doors and windows.
An under-insulated attic is a heat sink that draws heat energy out of the home during the winter, while increasing the heating load during the summer. For homes in Fresno’s climate zone, a minimum of 9 inches of fiberglass or 7 inches of cellulose should be installed in the attic.
Leakproof the Ducts
Residential heating and cooling ductwork is notoriously leaky. At least 20 percent of cooled and heated air end up in crawlspaces or attics instead of living spaces. An HVAC contractor can pressure-test your ducts to calculate leakage and detect the location of leaks before offering professional sealing options.
New technology like balanced ventilation systems, known as energy recovery ventilators (ERV), keeps fresh air circulating, while reducing the load on your furnace or A/C. Ventilation also improves air quality in tightly-sealed, energy-efficient homes.
Program Your Comfort
Digital programmable thermostats allow you to automate heating and cooling temperature settings to accommodate your daily household activity levels. These units execute temperature changes very gradually and efficiently, preventing noticeable spikes and sags. Installation of a programmable thermostat typically pays for itself in reduced energy expenditures after one year.
Ask Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning in Fresno about more ways to reduce your household energy footprint.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).