Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit – Your HVAC Unit

Replacing simple parts like the control valve or damper linkage could save you hundreds of dollars per year on heating and cooling. Paying exorbitant amounts of money to your energy provider month after month isn’t something most people happily anticipate. A DIY home energy audit could easily help save money on your energy bills.

How to Perform a Home Energy Audit

Locate air leaks and fill them with the appropriate material. Sometimes using insulation in corners or weather strips around doors or windows is the key to great energy savings. Window sun screens also help with heating and cooling bills.

Request a checkup for your HVAC unit by a trained professional. Explain your goal to them and they will gladly help you reduce your heating and cooling bills if possible. Sometimes the smallest changes can net the biggest savings.

Install a programmable thermostat and set it to a comfortable temperature. Adjust the temperature to be slightly cooler or warmer while you’re not home, but don’t go overboard. Reheating or cooling a house more than a few degrees requires a great amount of work by your HVAC system and increases your electric bill.

Replace all incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs and always use LED holiday lights and decorative bulbs. Simply replacing your light bulbs shows a great amount of savings per year. The bulbs are slightly more expensive, but it still results in savings at the end of the year.

Insulate your water filter to preserve the heat between uses. Water filters gradually cool over time, like everything else that requires electricity to create heat. Wrapping your water heater with insulation will show a small improvement in your energy bill.

Install low-flow faucets and shower heads to save water as well as save the amount of hot water required for each shower. Using less hot water decreases the workload on the water heater, thus reducing your electricity bill.

Replace your HVAC unit’s filter at least every two months. More frequent replacement is often needed in dusty areas or during heavy pollen seasons. A dusty house or homes with pets also require more frequent filter changes.

Saving Energy Equals Saving Money

Some of the simplest changes create some of the best energy savings. HVAC units, for example, only work as hard as the owner requests. Heating or cooling an entire home more than a few degrees is a horrible strain on the unit.

Many people with programmable thermostats leave the cooling or heating set to a comfortable temperature while they’re at work. They program the thermostat to reheat or cool the home by 10 degrees or more before they get home.

This puts a great deal of strain on the unit and causes increases in energy bills. What they think is a good idea often results in paying more each month.

Causing undue strain on the HVAC unit may also cause additional wear and tear on internal parts. HVAC damper motors, control valves and the damper linkage often need replacement due to improper use. Replacement parts, such as Barber Coleman control valves or Barber Coleman damper linkage aren’t usually terribly expensive, but the appointment with your local HVAC repairman could be.