INSPECT with the
Serving Southeastern PA
& Central/Southern NJ since 1985
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Air Conditioning and Energy Audits
Happy Birthday America! July 4th is here and all I can think of is air
conditioning. When I come out of those attic environments which can range up to
150 to 160 degrees, I am more than happy to go back down to the kitchen towards
the end of the inspection and "chill out".
Those of you who have been with Tri-County over the years tend to learn about
the homes that people are purchasing but at the same time, we wonder about our
own homes in relation to energy efficiency. My subject today will discuss air
conditioning and energy audits.
| When testing your own air conditioner, the first
thing you should do is feel the refrigerant line past the insulation. As I tell
my clients, it should feel like "cold beer" usually "35 to 40
degrees". If you are outside your home and you put your one hand above the
fan of your condensing unit, warm air should be expelled in this area, but at
the same time use your other hand along the side of the condensing unit and you
should feel cooler air in this location. To get the most accurate reading when
checking your air conditioning; however, you can utilize a temperature probe
and insert a small hole in your return duct as well as in your supply duct well
away from the "A" coil. We look for a 13 to 20 degree difference in
temperature between those two ducts. Anything less than 13 degrees, I would
suggest that you recharge the refrigerant. Anything above 20 degrees, I would
recommend that you change your filter. Filter changes should be done monthly
unless you are using Filtreat filters, which can be cleaned every three months.
Some homes have a larger Aprilaire filtration system that should be changed at
the beginning of each season. Refrigerant charges generally run between $150
and $175. If you are one of the few homes that still uses "freon", an
additional $50 charge will be incurred, as it has to be collected by the
technician and disposed of properly. One final note when cooling your home, go
to your thermostat and put your fan switch to the "on" position.
Generally you can raise your thermostat approximately 4 to 5 degrees higher
than you think you mentally prefer. This also balances your home and
dehumidifies it at the same.
One of the things that you may not be aware of is that Tri-County has an energy
audit/energy efficiency inspection service. The service begins with a brief
client interview and is followed by a comprehensive building inspection to
determine efficiency needs. Over 16 different items and building systems are
evaluated. A blower door pressurization test will also be preformed to
determine building envelope air leakage. A detailed Audit report will then be
generated on site outlining concerns and recommendations.
Also provided are detailed efficient living recommendations and instructions on
how to operate the building systems more effectively. More information on this
service is at www.tchomeinspectors.com/energy.htm.
Jack H. Milne, Jr. President, Tri-County Inspection