Before you plunk down a few hundred dollars for a professional home energy audit you may want to give things a once over yourself. It’s possible to do a home energy audit yourself to find fixes that can make a big impact on efficiency and ultimately your utility bill.
Here’s a checklist that will provide guidance during a do-it-yourself home energy audit to help you cover all the major points. As you go through the house check off which items have been examined and what was found. This can help you prioritize fixes and energy efficiency improvements.
Let’s get auditing!
Sealing up air leaks with proper weatherproofing is one of the first things every homeowner should do to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your house. Below are the things you need to check during your DIY home energy audit:
- Weatherstripping around the doors to the exterior.
- Weatherstripping around the door to the gargage.
- Gaps around the windows.
- Gaps in mortar of fireplace and around the fireplace.
- Gaps along the baseboards.
- Air leaks at exterior spots where two different materials meet.
- Gaps around exterior water pipes and vents.
- Cracks at ceiling seams.
- Gaps around outlets and light switches.
- Cracks in the foundation.
Another easy way to improve energy efficiency at home is by adding insulation. Conditioned air in the home can leak out through the ceiling and walls of the home. There are minimum recommendations for insulation that can change from year to year. Many homeowners are surprised to find their home doesn’t have the recommended minimum. Here’s what to check to determine if you have adequate insulation.
- Measure the insulation – if you see the floor joists at all there isn’t enough insulation.
- Look for insulation on the top of the drop down door to the attic space.
- Make sure the attic door is properly sealed.
- Examine the sealing around vents, pipes and ducts in the attic.
- Check the sealing around a chimney, if needed.
- See if there’s a vapor barrier installed under the insulation.
- Look for insulation blocking the vents.
*Checking the insulation levels in the walls is much more complex and requires that the electricity be turned off. If you aren’t comfortable working with electricity it’s best to have a professional check the wall insulation.
It’s highly recommended to have your HVAC system professionally inspected once a year. This should catch energy efficiency issues that can be corrected. You can also check the HVAC system yourself if it’s been a while since the last inspection.
- Check the air filters at least once a month and replace every 1-3 months.
- Look to see how dirty the HVAC components are and if there’s buildup.
- Determine the age of the HVAC equipment and consider replacing it if it’s more than 15 years old.
- Examine the ductwork looking for air leaks, dirt streaks and gaps at connections and seams.
- Look for insulation around ductwork.
- Check the vents to make sure they are clean and open or closed as needed for optimal air flow.
Since 10% of your electricity bill is from lighting, you’ll want to make sure your home is lit up efficiently. Here’s what to check during your home energy audit to optimize the lighting.
- Check each bulb to see if it’s an old incandescent bulb that can be replaced by a CFL or LED bulb.
- Examine the lumens to make sure it provides sufficient lighting or can limit the number of bulbs needed to light the space.
- Look for areas where auto on/off lights can be used.
- Look for areas where solar powered lights can be used.`
If you aren’t sure if you’ve found issues or you want to make sure every possible energy efficiency is found, you may want to consider getting a professional home energy audit. Professional home energy audits should also include a report on how your home systems and appliances use energy to give you a better idea of what can be optimized.
No matter who does your home energy audit, Provider Power can supply reliable, fixed rate energy plans across the northeast. Check to see which energy plans are available in your area.