How To Weatherize Your Greater West Chester Area Home In One Weekend
by Greg Leisgang on July 5, 2012
Posted in: Energy Savings
Summer is a good time to weatherize your greater West Chester area home because temperatures are comfortable outdoors and you'll start saving money on energy costs immediately. The components of your home that contribute to inefficient cooling and heating include your insulation, air infiltration and the condition of your HVAC equipment.
Check the attic to see if it requires more insulation. The Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 16 inches in your attic, which will generally bring your insulation to an efficiency value of R-49. The "R" value refers to the amount of time it takes for heat to transfer through the insulation, or its resistance. Each number refers to the amount of time the insulation resists heat transfer. Best choices for improving the attic insulation include batt or blown-in insulation.
Addressing air infiltration when you weatherize your home helps year-round. An energy auditor or HVAC contractor would conduct a blower door test to measure air leakage, and you can do the same by:
- Drawing the floor plan for your home
- Closing all the windows and exterior doors
- Turning off all gas-burning appliances and turning on the kitchen and bathroom fans
- Walking through the home with a lighted stick of incense, noting on the floor plan where the smoke wavers more than it should, indicating air leaks
Likely places include around window and door frames, electrical switches and outlets on exterior walls, and any places where pipes, wires or cables enter the home. Seal the leaks with exterior caulk, expanding foam or weatherstripping.
Check the air filters on your system to improve energy efficiency and prolong the life of your HVAC equipment. Hose off the outdoor condenser coils with a moderate spray with the hose. Clear away any debris around the condenser and be sure that no one puts anything on top of it that restricts the airflow. Ensuring that your system receives a professional tune-up every year will also go a long way toward optimizing performance.
Tri-County Heating & Cooling can help you when you want to weatherize your home by maintaining your entire cooling and heating system and inspecting your ductwork. Contact us to learn more. We've been providing HVAC services for the greater West Chester area for more than 40 years.