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If you invite a home-performance specialist to your home to detect where it uses energy inefficiently, you’ll get some recommendations for repairs, upgrades and changes that will increase your home’s comfort and lower your gas and electric bills.   Here are four of the most common recommendations:

1. Seal the ducts. The ductwork in your attic has joints that can leak over time. In fact, SRP estimates that the typical Phoenix home loses 20 percent of its air-conditioned air through faulty ducts.   In some cases, installers use duct tape to prevent those leaks, but energy specialists say that’s not the most-effective solution. Instead, installers are double-sealing the joints, first with a super-sticky adhesive called Mastic, and then with a wrap of foil tape.

You can learn if your ducts need sealing by asking your air conditioning technician to inspect your ducts, or by having a home-performance audit that will reveal your home’s energy inefficiencies and recommend solutions.

2. Air-seal the house. When your house was built, the builder ran wires and plumbing plates through holes in the wall that are much bigger than the wires themselves. That extra space around the wires can let your expensive, air-conditioned indoor air leak outside—and invite hot, summer air inside.

Read more…

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