A home energy audit will identify the areas of your house that use the most energy and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs.
You can conduct a simple energy audit yourself, you can contact your local utility, or you can call an independent energy auditor for a more comprehensive examination. Learn more about professional home energy audits here.
DIY Energy Auditing Tips
- Check the insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.
- Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets. These hole or cracks can leak air into or out of your home.
- Check for open fireplace dampers.
- Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Check your owner’s manuals for the recommended maintenance.
- Study your family’s lighting needs and use patterns, paying special attention to high-use areas such as the living room, kitchen, and outside lighting. Look for ways to use lighting controls (such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers) to reduce lighting energy use. Also, replace standard (incandescent) light bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Make a Plan
After your home energy audit has identified where your home is losing energy, if you cannot make all the changes at once, then assign priorities by asking yourself a few important questions:
- How much money do I spend on energy?
- Where are the greatest energy losses?
- How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
- Do the energy saving measures provide additional benefits that are important to me (for example, increased comfort from installing double-pane, efficient windows)?
- How long do I plan to own my current home?
- Can I do the job or will I need to hire a contractor?
- What is my budget and how much time do I have to spend on maintenance and repair?
Once you assign priorities to your energy needs, you can make a whole house efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements that maximize energy efficiency and save the most money.
Remember, even small changes after your home energy audit can make a difference. Start where you can.