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Energy Audit: High Efficiency Furnace & Boiler Replacement / Installation

Home Energy Audit - Locating Air Leaks
The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring and at junctures of the walls and ceiling. Check to see if air can flow through these places:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Window frames
  • Storm windows
  • Baseboards
  • Gaps along the edge of the flooring
  • Gaps around pipes and wires
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.

Home energy audit - A step toward furnace efficiency and boiler efficiency and eventual furnace replacement.

If your furnace or boiler is old, we would present you with the most cost effective way of replacing your heating system with a newer, energy-efficient unit. A new furnace and/or boiler would greatly reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition. Home energy audits can trigger 50% government rebates on your equipment cost, as well as savings on your home heating systems for many years to come.

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On the outside of your house, inspect all areas where two different building materials meet, including:

    All exterior corners

    Where siding and chimneys meet

    Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

If you are having difficulty locating leaks, you may want to conduct a basic building pressurization test:

  1. First, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues.
  2. Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters.
  3. Then turn on all exhaust fans (generally located in the kitchen and bathrooms) or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.

Insulation Inspection as Part of the Home Energy Audit
Energy audits must include inspecting the insulation. Heat loss through the ceiling and walls in your home could be very large if the insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum.

If the attic hatch is located above a conditioned space, check to see if it is at least as heavily insulated as the attic, is weather stripped, and closes tightly. In the attic, determine whether openings for items such as pipes, ductwork, and chimneys are sealed. Seal any gaps with an expanding foam caulk or some other permanent sealant.

While you are inspecting the attic, check to see if there is a vapor barrier under the attic insulation. The vapor barrier might be tarpaper, Kraft paper, or a plastic sheet. Make sure that the attic vents are not blocked by insulation. You also should seal any electrical boxes in the ceiling with flexible caulk and cover the entire attic floor with at least the current recommended amount of insulation. Checking a wall's insulation level is more difficult but it is essential!.

If your basement is unheated, determine whether there is insulation under the living area flooring. In most areas of the country, an R-value of 25 is the recommended minimum level of insulation. The insulation at the top of the foundation wall and first floor perimeter should have an R-value of 19 or greater. If the basement is heated, the foundation walls should be insulated to at least R-19. Your water heater, hot water pipes, and furnace ducts should all be insulated. For more information, see our insulation section.

Home energy audit: Heating/Cooling Equipment
Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a forced-air furnace, check your filters and replace them as needed. Generally, you should change them about once every month or two, especially during periods of high usage. Have a professional check and clean your equipment once a year.

If the unit is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing your system with one of the newer, energy-efficient units. A new unit would greatly reduce your energy consumption, especially if the existing equipment is in poor condition. Check your ductwork for dirt streaks, especially near seams. These indicate air leaks, and they should be sealed with a duct mastic. Insulate any ducts or pipes that travel through unheated spaces. An insulation R-Value of 6 is the recommended minimum.

Home Energy audit: Lighting
Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the wattage size of the light bulbs in your house. You may have 100-watt (or larger) bulbs where 60 or 75 watts would do. You should also consider compact fluorescent lamps for areas where lights are on for hours at a time.

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