Simple Steps to a Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit
Energy audit can help you save significant money in terms of energy bills. However, many homeowners are not comfortable retaining the expensive services of an energy auditing company. You can still save money by carrying out this simple DIY home energy audit.
Here’s your game plan:
- Detect air leaks
You are probably wasting money on energy if warm air escapes from or cold air seeps into your home. There are some simple steps that can help you identify potential leak sources and plug it up effectively.
Start by closing all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues. Walk through your home and check for drafts. Pay close attention to door frames, windows, gaps along the edge of the flooring or baseboard, open fireplace dampers, and electrical outlets.
- Determine your home insulation
Properties that are a decade old most likely do not follow strict insulation standards where wall, ceiling, and crawl space are concerned. You need to make sure that attic vents are free of insulation to do their job properly. Check your wall insulation by turning off all circuit breakers to electric outlet and removing the cover plate.
Use a plastic crotchet hook or a straw to find potential insulation behind the outlet. Call a professional if you find that there is little to no insulation.
- Inspect HVAC systems
Maintaining your heating and cooling systems is primary to lowering your energy bills. Check for signs of neglect. Is there vegetation or dirt on your outside units? Are air filters filthy or do you see water pools around the indoor unit? You can greatly improve energy efficiency by inspecting the equipment annually and maintaining it properly.
- Use LEDs
This step is the simplest and will not require any professional help. Check all the light bulbs in your home and replace them with LEDs. On average, lighting is responsible for 9% energy consumption in a household. This step could prove to be tremendously cost effective. Make sure you replace incandescent as well as CFL bulbs. Don’t forget to check lamps in your home along with wall fixtures.
- Unplug electronics and appliances
There are many electronics and appliances used in a home that are called energy vampires. These consume energy even when they are turned off or not in use. Make sure you always unplug microwaves, televisions, computers, coffeepots, phone chargers, and printers among others when not in use. It would be a better idea to connect them to a power strip and simply turn off the strip when not in use.
Create a checklist
Once you take care of these 5 steps, make an overall house plan that includes all the important bits that you left out. For instance, if you need help with insulation, then look for discounts or rebates at your local utility provider.
This would also help you keep tabs on the actions that you have already taken and the ones pending. The sooner you have an energy audit of your home taken care of the quicker you can start lowering those energy bills and this is a noble goal even in the age of lower taxes.