Performing a home energy audit is the best way to save money on your energy bills. There are many professionals that offer home energy auditing services; but if you are a die-hard do it yourself-er, you can certainly perform your own audit.
Home Energy Audit: A DIY Checklist
This article was written for our blog by Casey Staley at REenergize Co.
The tools a professional home energy auditor uses are fairly technical and expensive, but you don’t need to go out and buy them for a basic energy audit. A DIY audit is a pretty simple procedure that will only cost you the time it takes to complete the task. With this checklist of simple questions you will be able to complete the audit without any problems. A home energy audit is designed to pinpoint areas of your home that need improvements to become energy efficient. By performing an audit you’ll identify the problems with your home as well as any bad home energy habits you and your family have and should break to save energy, and therefore money. This energy checklist has seven areas of focus and they should be taken on one at a time.
Checklist for Auditing your Home’s Energy
- Drafts and leaks: One of the most common problems in home construction is leaks and drafts. Areas like doors, windows, fans, outlets, fireplaces and air conditioners are where you can commonly locate a draft. Leaks and drafts raise the cost of heating and cooling your home quite significantly, so it is very important to check these areas of the house first. Make sure that these areas are adequately sealed. If you do find leaks, make note of where they are located and come back later to fill them with caulk, or weather stripping.
- Windows and doors: Check to make sure your windows are working correctly and don’t have any leaks or breaks. Installing efficient windows can easily save you up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs.
- Computers and electronics: Purchasing energy efficient computers and electronic devices will save you 65 percent of energy use compared to traditional models. Check to make sure your computers, televisions and other display devices are programmed to shut down during periods of inactivity and whenever possible purchase energy efficient models.
- Insulation: Check to be sure your home is insulated properly. Insulation codes vary from region to region depending on your climate. You can research the R-value levels recommended for your region on state and federal websites. Denver insulation companies recommend R-49 in your attic, R-22 in your walls, R-19 in the basement and R-25 in your floors. Check the insulation levels in all accessible areas. If you cannot access an area and have reason to believe the insulation levels are inadequate contact a professional insulation contractor to avoid damaging your home while attempting to gain access to the area.
- Heating and cooling systems: Efficient heating and cooling systems will save you up to forty percent on your home energy bills. If you have moved into an older house check to make sure that your furnace has been upgraded to an energy efficient model. Replacing old furnaces and air conditioners with newer models will keep your home more comfortable and your energy bills low.
- Quick & Easy Lighting: The quickest and easiest way to conserve energy is to change your light bulbs. Replace all incandescent bulbs in your home to energy efficient LED or fluorescent bulb. It is important to replace both outdoor and indoor lights during this process.
- Habits: The last item on this home energy audit checklist is evaluating family energy habits. Help the members of your family or housemates identify habits that may be causing them to waste energy. Does dad fall asleep with the TV on? Does mom leave the water running while she brushes her teeth? You can help save your family money and lessen your environmental impact by identifying problems and making changes.
Once you have identified areas of your home that need improvement, form a comprehensive list of the issues you found, and decide on a schedule to make these improvements. Try not to overwhelm yourself by making all the improvements at once, and consider both cost and time when scheduling your home energy efficiency improvements.
Article Authored By Casey Staley
Published by CraftPro Contracting‘s owner Richard J. D’Angelo.