High energy costs take a huge bite out of most homeowners’ budgets. There are many things you can do to reduce your energy bills, such as purchasing energy-efficient appliances or switching to low-watt bulbs. When it comes to heating and cooling, the most effective way to cut your bills is to ensure you home has the right amount and type of insulation. This requires inspecting your home to determine how much insulation you have. Since Fresno and the surrounding area have average lows in the 30s and average highs in the 90s, your insulation should be designed for these extremes.
One of the prime contributors to high energy costs is air and heat loss in your attic. Since warm air naturally rises and cold air drops, attics can let heat escape in the winter. In summer, leaky attics can also create a chimney affect by drawing warm air into your home through any cracks or openings in the lower part of the home.
- Attic insulation: Rolled insulation should be at least 18 inches thick, whereas blown insulation should be 22 inches.
- Attic Leaks: Seal the attic against any air infiltration from below with caulk and expanding foam. You can detect leaks by pressurizing you home with a fan and feeling along the attic floor. You should have proper attic ventilation, however, to avoid moisture buildup.
The next area to look at is wall insulation. First, make sure you turn off the power.
- Outlets: Check some areas by removing outlet plates and testing with a screwdriver for insulation.
- Cut a hole: You could also cut a small hole in an out-of-the-way spot to check.
- Wall insulation choices: You can choose blown loose fill or expanding foam, both of which should be done by a professional.
As with the attic, look for holes and cracks around pipes, doors, windows and other places where air can enter.
- Seal leaks: Seal any leaks with caulk, foam or weather-stripping.
An airtight home is a key part of addressing high energy costs. If you have any further questions, please contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. Our team of experienced and courteous professionals will be happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high energy costs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.