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Easy Method to Do a Home Energy Audit by Yourself

January 27, 2021
by dmirza

Getting a professional energy audit will help you determine areas of improvement to make your home more efficient. But the next best thing to getting an inspection is to roll up your sleeves and perform a DIY home energy audit.

In this assessment, you can spot potential problems and pinpoint areas that need immediate attention.

Go through the following home energy audit checklist and prioritize which energy-efficient upgrades you need.

Check the Home Insulation

Your home could be losing heat if the insulation is not adequate. Hence, check the attic, ceiling, basement, crawlspace, and walls. If your home is old, it may need additional insulation to lower the energy bills.

The attic is one of the areas where heat loss can be the highest. So, look for any cracks or gaps from where air leaks can occur. Use flexible caulk around the ceiling electrical boxes and non-combustible sealants near chimneys and other heat-emitting devices.

When checking the walls, look for loose wiring or hot outlets that can cause home electric fire hazards. Fix them immediately and untangle all cords. Depending on whether your basement is conditioned or contains HVAC appliances, you should choose the right R-value for the insulation.

Seal Door and Window Air Leaks

Windows and doors are substantial areas in your DIY home energy audit. By fixing the air drafts, you can get up to 20% annual energy savings and improve indoor comfort.

Also, check the floorboards, baseboards, and joints of the walls and ceiling. Inspect the external areas of the home, where different building materials join. Detect open fireplace dampers and seal the problematic areas with caulk and weatherstripping material.

Calculate How Much Energy Your Lights Are Draining

The topmost item on the home energy audit checklist should be your lighting systems. Older incandescent bulbs put a burden on your power supply by contributing to over 10% of the monthly bills.

Replace such inefficient bulbs with new lighting technologies with low-power models, such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), energy-saving incandescent, and LEDs (light-emitting diodes).

Furthermore, plug them into the right outlet with appropriate current wattage. You can find the lumens on the manufacturer’s label. Some electric companies also offer smart sensors or dimmers.

Inspect Your HVAC Units

Whether you have a forced-air furnace, space heater, or a new heating and cooling equipment model, change the filters when needed. Get a professional inspection and cleaning at least once a year.

15-years-or-older units need a replacement with energy-efficient models. Look for visible signs of distress, such as dirt steams, ripped seams, air leaks, etc. Add more insulation to the water heater pipes to reduce the heating costs.

Other things to do are buying ENERGY STAR appliances and devices after finishing your DIY home energy audit. Unplug all electronics and gadgets, no matter how small, after switching them off to prevent phantom loads.

Besides these tips, you can also choose a more affordable energy plan to power your home. Explore low-rate electricity plans in your service area.

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