HVAC Energy Evaluations- A Whole House Approach

by Don Rackler on

HVAC energy evaluations, sometimes known as energy audits or assessments, are a good way to evaluate your home’s HVAC performance.  They’re often recommended when homeowners are experiencing problems with home comfort and want to know what the issues are.  In an energy evaluation, a professional auditor (known here at Jon Wayne as a Comfort Advisor) comes out to your home and performs a variety of tests.  You may want to consider an energy evaluation if any of the following apply to you:

  • Your home is too cold in winter or too hot in summer
  • Your indoor air is too humid or too dry
  • Your home is dusty, or you have respiratory problems
  • Your utility bills seem too high

Your home’s HVAC system should provide adequate ventilation, comfortable indoor temperatures year round, and clean, healthy air for you and your family to breathe.  If it’s not, an energy evaluation can tell you why.

We use a Whole House Approach when performing our energy evaluations.  This is because your home is a complex system, made up of equipment and devices all designed to work together.   Your issues could be the result of faulty duct work, poor insulation, improperly sized equipment or a combination of these factors.  Our Comfort Advisor will go through the following steps and methods during the process:

1.  Consultation- It’s important to let us know about any problems you’re having.  You might have rooms that are too hot or cold, or you may be experiencing mold growth or high humidity.  This initial meeting will indicate what might be going on with your HVAC system.

2.  Equipment inspection- We look at your heating and cooling equipment for signs of age, improper installation or inadequate maintenance.  We evaluate your system’s efficiency and help you determine if it’s time for a replacement.  At this time, the air filtration capability of your system is checked to see how well your equipment can handle airborne contaminants.

3.  Insulation inspection- Energy Star estimates that homeowners can save up to 20% on their heating and cooling costs (or 10% on their total annual energy bill) by properly sealing and insulating their homes.   During an energy evaluation, insulation levels are checked and defects identified.

4.  Air leakage test- Department of Energy scientists invented a piece of equipment called a blower door that helps the analyst measure a home’s air tightness.   This blower sucks the air out of your home in order to determine the amount of air leakage in your home.  A house that is too tight will not have good ventilation, causing poor indoor air quality.  A home that leaks too much will reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system by making it work too hard to keep you comfortable.

5.  Heat gain/loss calculation- A load calculation will help you determine if you need to replace your existing system.  Your system may be the wrong size for your home (over half of all HVAC systems are!) and an improperly sized system may not only cause comfort issues, it may also be costing you money through higher energy bills.

6. Thermal Imaging – If you’re experiencing problems with hot spots in your home, thermal imaging devices can allow us to see inside your walls and locate areas in your walls or attic that aren’t properly insulated.

7. Flow Hoods – These measure the volume of air flow coming out of the A/C vents on your walls and ceilings. With that information we can determine if your ducts are properly configured to move air evenly throughout your home.

We feel that energy evaluations give you the information you need to improve the quality of your indoor air, reduce your energy bills and just feel better in your home.  Schedule your free home evaluation to learn more about how well your home’s HVAC system is performing for you.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy evaluations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Jon Wayne Heating and Air Conditioning services San Antonio and the surrounding communities including Seguin, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Boerne, and Comal County. To learn more about our services, check out our website or see our current promotions.

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