DIY Energy Audit on Your Home
The EPA’s Energy Star program estimates that by using energy efficient products in your home, you could save anywhere from 5%-30% on annual energy costs! Performing an energy audit of your home is an easy way to evaluate potential ways to improve your energy bill. You can certainly hire a professional to help you assess your home’s current state, but you can also do a lot of it yourself too!
Find Air Leaks
Air leaks and drafts are signs of wasted energy, and they can make your home uncomfortable. Check your home for drafts. Look along baseboards, the areas where wall and ceiling meet, and check on the outside of your home’s structure as well. You also should check door and window seals to see if air is escaping there. Check out this air leak detection article by energy.gov for a more detailed approach to finding air leaks.
Once you have located an air leak, patch it up. You can use weatherstrips or caulk to stop the air passage. Plug up any holes or penetrations. You may also want to contact a professional if it seems like a big issue.
Check Your Ventilation
Proper air ventilation is important for health and safety in your home. Backdrafts can become a huge safety concern. A backdraft is when appliance exhaust fans are competing for air in your home. When this happens, it can pull dangerous gases back into your home. Check around vents to see if there is any indication of poor ventilation. Signs of this include soot buildup around the vent or burner, as well as smoke anywhere in the room when the appliance is in operation. You may want to contact a professional if you suspect that your home has a ventilation issue.
Also make sure to have heating/AC units and air filters checked and cleaned routinely. You should also check to make sure that these ducts and vents are properly insulated and maintained. Clean out air filters and replace them when needed, usually ever 30-60 days.
Your insulation is the barrier between the outdoors and your home. A common place to check insulation adequacy is the attic. Look for any air leaks or gaps. Check for openings by the chimney, air ducts, or pipes. Seal gaps with a permanent sealant, such as a foam sealant. When sealing warm areas, like around the chimney, be sure to use a non-combustible sealant. While you are in the attic, you can also check for a vapor barrier that helps reduce moisture and helps keep the insulation more efficient.
Other Home Areas to Check
An easy way to make your home more energy efficient is to change to energy-saving lightbulbs. You should also make sure to turn off the lights when you are not using them. Investing in dimmers and sensors can also reduce the amount of energy you use.
When purchasing new appliances, choose ones that are more energy efficient. You can also unplug appliances when not in use. You may want to adjust appliance settings, or even use some appliances less often to save energy.
Evaluating your home needs, wants, and budget can help you strategize ways to make your home more energy efficient. You can hire a professional for a more in-depth assessment of your home and recommendations on how to improve. Staying on top of your home’s energy use is great for the environment and great for your wallet.
Talk to an Encharter agent today on how to make your home a greener and safer place to live! Call us at 888.754.8299!
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