Air duct leakage can increase heating and cooling costs over 30%. The Duct Blaster is a device that uses pressure testing to find the amount and location of air leakage in a duct system. In order to perform the test, the Duct Blaster fan is connected to the duct system at the air handler, or a return grille. After temporarily sealing all remaining registers and grilles, the Duct Blaster fan is turned on to force air through all holes and cracks in the ductwork. After the entire process is complete, estimates of efficiency losses from duct leakage can be made from the leakage measurements. This will include air that is leaking outside of the building [could be the attic or crawl space for example]. Most of us would not intentionally condition our attic or crawl space, right? We will pressurize the house to the same level as the ducts with the Blower Door. At that point, the Duct Blaster brings the ducts up to the required pressure. None of the air will leak out of the house since it’s at the same pressure as the ducts. In a tight air distribution system, the leakage to the outside will be five percent or less of the square footage of the house. Most new installations start at about fifteen to twenty percent, and go downhill from there. If this is true for your home, a third of your heating and cooling bills could be a direct result of duct leakage. As you can see, when the recommended repairs are made, the result is tremendous energy and financial savings.
BLOWER DOOR TESTING
The Blower Door is a whole house testing system which indirectly measures duct leakage by pressurizing the entire house to a standard testing pressure. This is done with all of the home’s doors and windows closed. By comparing the whole house test before and after all registers are temporarily sealed, the Blower Door provides you with an estimate of duct leakage to the outside, estimate natural infiltration rates and gauge efficiency losses due to home air leakage by certifying construction integrity. With the Blower Door running, duct leaks can be pinpointed by using a hand-held smoke puffer, or a leak detection tool called a pressure pan. In addition to diagnosing duct leakage problems, the Blower Door can identify building improvements that will reduce energy use and increase comfort.
Thermal imaging is one of the most effective procedures to diagnose a structure’s thermal performance and capabilities. Thermal imaging identifies temperature variations of a building’s surface. This reveals many problems with the energy conservation that are directly related to the structure of your home. Problems in your home’s structure [which includes air leakage and moisture content, which leads to mold growth] can be found through thermal imaging. This will also show areas of missing, non-existent insulation in walls and ceilings.
IN-HOME ENERGY AUDIT
Knowing the energy use of one’s home can save money and give you peace of mind. An audit consists of a visual inspection of the home and appliances – blower door testing, duct blaster, and thermal imaging are included. We will analyze the energy efficiency and make recommendations to improve energy consumption. After analyzing the energy audit, we make recommendations on how to put as many of our suggestions into practice as possible. Schedule an appointment online today – or call us with any questions at 770-253-2665
The following video features Dusty Davis, our Comfort Adviser. He has been in the HVAC industry for around 10 years…and we just love him!
Ooohh…that’s a loaded question if I’ve ever heard one.
There are a lot of different reasons why your energy bills may be high. First of all, you have to consider the time of year, and temperatures. In the dead of winter or summer, obviously your heating and air conditioning system is going to be one of the biggest factors to analyze. This can compose up to 49% of your utility bill. There are a lot of variables that come into play when you talk about your HVAC system though.
How often are your windows and doors opened? Obviously, the more your doors and/or windows are open, the more air escapes outside and hot air gets inside. We’re not just talking about temperature difference here either. The more humidity gets inside your home, the harder the unit has to work to keep it cool. Humidity soaks into your walls, your furniture…anything and everything. Your air conditioner has to pull all of that out to keep your home cool.
What temperature do you keep your thermostat set to? It is generally a good idea to keep your thermostat somewhere between 72 and 78 degrees…anything below or above will probably have an effect on your utility bill.
Do you have any duct leakage? Do you like air conditioning your attic or crawl space under the house? If so, all is good! If not – you might want to have this checked. It should be checked with your annual maintenance anyway. Next time your HVAC company comes out – ask them do check for air leaks.
Do you run ceiling fans to distribute the air in your home? This is a great way to distribute air evenly across multiple rooms, and not have as many ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ spots.
Do you have regular preventative maintenance performed on your HVAC system? This is an absolute necessity. Preventative maintenance will help keep your unit running at peak efficiency so your air conditioner is not costing you more money than necessary to run it.
How is your insulation? This plays a big part, and ties in with duct leakage…except your air could be leaking to the outside in many other ways.
When all else fails, you might need to look at the age of your system. This is something that needs a lot of consideration, and that you should get more than one opinion on.
The kids are about to go back to school! Everything is right around the corner – school supply shopping, football games, cheerleading, early to bed early to rise…so much to look forward to!
Don’t forget – it is very important to keep regular maintenance on your central heating and air conditioning system. It isn’t too late, and you certainly don’t want to go into the DOG DAYS OF SUMMER and have a break-down…not with everything being so hectic.
Preventative maintenance on your heating and air conditioner can save you money on costly repairs, prolong the life of your equipment, and protect your overall investment in general.
Come see us at our website to look over all points of our preventative maintenance check-list. Not only that, you can schedule an appointment with 10% off while you’re there!
Have a great day – and remember to stay cool!
Here’s an old tip you might not think about every day to keep your home cool: Make sure to keep your blinds shut during the hottest parts of the day.
On average, a home loses 18-20% of it’s cool air through it’s windows and doors. When that cool air escapes, it forces your A/C unit to work harder, ultimately raising your electric bill. Keeping the blinds closed during the day helps to trap the cool air in and prevents the sun from heating up your home. With longer days in the summer, that can help reduce your bill. Also checking to see if your windows and doors are properly sealed, and fixing those leaks can help keep your cool air within your home.