If you are tired of watching your home energy bills steadily rising, then it may be time for a home energy audit. An audit will pinpoint areas of wasted electricity, potential savings and improvements you can make to lower your energy bills. Before you start charging the children every time they turn on a light, invest in a home audit to see what changes you can make to take control of this expense.
Larger issues can usually be caught through a home energy audit you do yourself. Most homeowners can check insulation levels in exposed spaces, locate air leaks, inspect lighting and take a look at their heating and cooling equipment.
- Insulation – If you have an un-insulated crawlspace, it’s time to change that. You can drape rolls of faced insulation along the walls and block them in place by attaching furring strips over the insulation into the sill plate. If the crawlspace is vented, then add insulation in between floor joists by stapling it in place or securing it with special insulation wires. In the attic, your loose insulation should be at least as deep as the ceiling joists. When adding insulation, take care not to cover the air vents in the soffits.
- Drafty Windows and Doors –If you can rattle the window or door in the frame or see daylight around the frame, then cold air is going to breeze through. Add weather-stripping to moving panels, and caulk fixed panels.
- Electrical Outlets – If you have electrical outlets or light switches on exterior walls, then add some insulation to stop the movement of air. Special pads available at home improvement stores can be added to these fixtures behind the faceplates.
- Light bulbs – Switch bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs to lower electric bills.
- Phantom Usage – All those chargers for cell phones, rechargeable lights and other electronics can be pulling electricity even when not in use. If it as a large square box that goes into the outlet, then it is pulling electricity even when you aren’t charging the item. Unplug these and other electronics when they are not in use.
After you have gone through your house and pinpointed problems and opportunities, consider calling the professionals. They use special tools to locate problem areas you may have missed.
- Calibrated Blower Door Test – A fan is attached to an outside door to pull air out of the home and lower the interior air pressure. As air is pulled into the house, the auditor can see where hidden leaks are lurking.
- Thermographic Inspection – Along with the blower door test, they can use thermography to determine where heat is leaving the house. This makes it easy for homeowners to determine where they need more insulation.
The professionals will also go through your home and point out things you may not have realized. With their expertise, they can locate issues like unused computers that can easily be shut down, ceiling lights that need more efficient bulbs, and appliances that are worth replacing for the energy savings. You can then use this information to make changes around the home to improve energy efficiency.
With the help of an energy audit, you can make your home more efficient and comfortable. It will be easier to heat and cool when you don’t have cold air pouring in every winter, and The cost of an audit will quickly be offset by lower utility bills.
This article was Otter Boone for the team at shadesshuttersblinds.com; they are very much concerned with green ideas, such as solar blinds and other eco-conscious concepts.
© 2012, Jen Carrigan. All rights reserved.