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Old 05-08-2009, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 13,506,718 times
Reputation: 2540

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How much does an energy audit or blower door test run in San Antonio? Does the utility company come out and do it for free maybe? I've been trying to cut the humidity indoors. Even tried a dehumidifier but it's too loud and I haven't seen a whole lot of results. Yesterday I was up in the attic late in the afternoon working on something and I felt cool air coming from all along corner. Now I'm curious if I'm fighting a losing battle with humidity because the house leaks.

The a/c may be the problem, but not in that it's old and needs to be replaced but because it may be new and oversized (or not designed for someone who wants to put it at 75?). I want to say that the downstairs unit ran for about 5 hours and some change yesterday according to the CPS thermostat... don't know about the upstairs one. Is that about normal for this region?
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Kallison Ranch, San Antonio,TX.
1,668 posts, read 3,516,525 times
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scuba steve- CPS does conduct Energy Audits. You will see on their webpage how to arrange one and the Enery Rebates that they offer.

SAWS offers Water Audits along with various rebates (actually credits on your SAWS Bill)
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & San Antonio, TX
790 posts, read 3,711,948 times
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There is a company called Standard Renewable Energy that does energy audits. There are the free ones that are very basic, then it goes up to about $200 for the middle and I just spoke with someone this weekend at GreenCamp (GreenCamp San Antonio) who said she is doing the full-on, pull-out-all-the-stops audit for $400. SRE is based out of Houston, but they have technicians in SA that do the audits.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:57 AM
 
32,557 posts, read 51,133,466 times
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does getting energy audit qualify for tax credit or is it just the products you can install like insulation/new windows/HVAC
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:34 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 5,348,172 times
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If you can feel cool air blowing in your attic - I suspect you have leaking ducts. Do you know what type of ducts you have? If you have flex ducts and they are old...then more than likely they have cracked and you are losing a ton of conditioned air into the Attic. Also - are your ducts sealed at the A/C registers?

This is a big deal on an older home. My first house was 18 years old when I purchased it (back in 2001) and I ended up replacing everything from the A/C unit to the registers to seal up the air loss in the attic. Made a huge impact for very little money. We did it ourselves the spring of 2002 for less than $400.00.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Coral Springs, Fl
1,086 posts, read 3,093,762 times
Reputation: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
How much does an energy audit or blower door test run in San Antonio? Does the utility company come out and do it for free maybe? I've been trying to cut the humidity indoors. Even tried a dehumidifier but it's too loud and I haven't seen a whole lot of results. Yesterday I was up in the attic late in the afternoon working on something and I felt cool air coming from all along corner. Now I'm curious if I'm fighting a losing battle with humidity because the house leaks.

The a/c may be the problem, but not in that it's old and needs to be replaced but because it may be new and oversized (or not designed for someone who wants to put it at 75?). I want to say that the downstairs unit ran for about 5 hours and some change yesterday according to the CPS thermostat... don't know about the upstairs one. Is that about normal for this region?
Are you sure it's not ductwork that's leaking, perhaps you have a hole somewhere that may have gotten caught on a nail or something?

While I am not familiar with CPS and Texas, Florida's light company FPL would come out and do energy efficiency tests and check for leaks in your A/C System free of charge, maybe CPS has something similar.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 13,506,718 times
Reputation: 2540
The ducts are insulated flexible ducts. I've checked them out at least a couple of times while doing the never-ending radiant barrier project and they're in great shape. I think they may have been replaced when the outside a/c units were replaced within the last few years. I haven't pulled the registers to see if they're sealed - won't be able to do that for a couple more weeks (I'm back in the PNW for a while again).

This leak was really strange - there aren't even any ducts in the area. The air may have been escaping from the crack along the floor where the drywall / carpet / tack strip meet. Or from the crawlspace between the first and second floor. It's closed now though.

The thing that solved the humidity problem in my place - shutting off the a/c fan when it's not in use. When I moved in last year it was set to run 24/7 and I left it alone. That leaves high pressure areas in rooms with registers and some of the air escapes wherever it can (cracks, outlets, windows, ...). But air has to enter the house somewhere to make up for what's gone and it comes in as hot, humid air that as it cools makes the house more humid. We made a little project of it at home last night taking off the faceplates and caulking around them. You can tell you've found a leaky one when you pull it from the wall and it's dusty back there.

So for now my plans to do a blower door test are on hold while we take care of closing up the easy stuff. Humidity levels are down from well above 70% into the 50s. MUCH more comfortable indoors now!
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