How Can Energy Audit Help Increase Air Conditioning Efficiency For Homes?

Wall-mounted air conditioning unit on a white interior wall in a home alongside a window

Air conditioners have become omnipresent in the modern world and going by the average electric load during summer, the United States is a good case in point. In the last five years, the average consumption of electricity due to air conditioners has increased by 20 percent. To prevent this abrupt rise in power consumption, homeowners have no other option than running an energy audit. This not only gives you a fair idea of how to increase the energy efficiency of your home, but also helps in trimming the energy costs.

There is a long-term benefit of running the energy audit. If you can identify the sources of energy loss and seal them, you can help the AC units work more efficiently. This not only adds to the lifespan but also reduces the chances of costly AC repairs in places like Clearwater, where people run their AC units almost 24X7. The audit will also help in measuring the efficiency of the equipment suggesting whether you need to think of a complete replacement.

Here are few areas an energy audit focuses on, and shows ways to make air conditioning experience better.

Thermal Loss

Just like air leak is a natural consequence of inadequate insulation, thermal loss through the doors and windows also leave an impact on the energy efficiency within your house. Following the law of thermodynamics, heat always shows the tendency to flow from hotter regions to a colder temperature. Proper insulation is added to homes to prevent the unnecessary heat transfer. To find out the areas through which heat penetrates, energy audits include a thermographic testing. While carrying out this test, the areas of thermal loss are identified by color change.

Once you have pinpointed the areas of thermal loss, get energy-star double pane thermal windows which can prevent the excessive heat from penetrating in. It not only favors your air conditioner to work efficiently, but also prevents the rest of the appliances from heating up unnecessarily.

Air Leak

The blower door test is the most common practice of all energy audits. All the windows of the house are sealed, and interior doors are kept open. A huge fan is framed adequately so that it fits within the exterior door. Once it’s turned on, the energy auditor measures the time span within which the indoor air pressure falls. This helps to find out whether the home has got leaks within or not. If the house has got minimal air infiltration, the air pressure will drop quickly; and if there are leaks, it will take time for the air pressure to drop. The most common areas of air leaks are:

  • Exterior door and window frames
  • The exterior perimeter of dryer vents and exhaust fans
  • The vents through which pipes and cable wires enter the house
  • The attic

Once you identify these leak points, hire an expert to seal them immediately. These are the areas from where warm air enters your home during the summer months, forcing your air conditioners to work longer than necessary. Keep the envelopes tight and feel comfortable amid heat and humidity

The Efficiency of Your AC and Other Electrical Appliances

When you’re bothered about the increasing monthly utility bills, you must allow the AC for an energy audit as well. There might be issues with the installation process, or even dirty filters that prevent your AC from working efficiently. Allow your auditor to run the blower-door test that confirms whether there’s any leakage in the ductwork or not. Since your AC works along with several other appliances in your home, the heat emitted by these appliances also affects the indoor temperature. During the audit, see whether these appliances are energy-star rated or not. Do not skip checking a single area because your comfort depends on it.

Mostly homeowners decide to go for an energy audit only after the utility bills get abnormal. However, experts are of the opinion that annual energy audits can help to minimize AC repair costs in Clearwater and other nearby locations with more or less the same weather patterns. Since air conditioners account for the maximum energy consumption in the residential sector, only an energy audit can help homeowners cut down their energy expenditure considerably.

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Written by Eva Brown

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