While hiring a professional to do an energy audit is the best approach to detect problem areas in your house, there are a few energy-saving methods you can use to make energy efficiency changes on your own.
A home energy audit may be costly, so if hiring a professional is out of the question, the good news is that you can perform the check yourself!
Keep in mind, however, that you will not have all the same equipment and knowledge as a professional auditor, so although you may save on the initial cost of the inspection, you may not experience as significant savings on your energy bills.
When doing your own home energy audit, keep the following five factors in mind:
Inspect your home for leaks if you find a particularly drafty location. Leaks are more prevalent at the junctions of walls and ceilings, as well as at doors, beside windows, and at electrical outlets. If you find a leak, use weatherstripping or caulk to seal it.
Heating and cooling systems
Examine the air conditioning filters and duct lines for any signs of holes or gaps. Make it a habit to have your HVAC system serviced on a regular basis. To increase the temperature in your house, you might also consider purchasing a smart thermostat.
To prevent the danger of mildew and fire, inspect bathroom ventilation fans and dryer vents for any obstructions. Look for evidence of mold or moisture in your attic, as you may need to enhance ventilation.
If you can see your attic floor joists, you probably need extra insulation. Check behind wall outlets to determine whether the outside walls are adequately insulated, and make sure your attic access door is adequately insulated.
Appliances and lighting
Consider upgrading your home’s performance with Energy Star appliances, which consume up to 50% less energy than standard versions. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which will last much longer and consume much less power.
The perfect time to get a home energy audit is determined by where you live.
If you are spending a lot of money on your energy bills, an energy audit is a good idea at any time. The sooner you implement energy-saving improvements to your house, the sooner you will start saving money.
Having said that, you should consider seasonality. During the winter, many houses seem draughty or chilly in certain sections and warm in others. If you reside in the Northeast and spend a lot of money on energy during the winter, it may be a good idea to perform energy-saving measures before the cold weather arrives.
This rationale also applies in a reverse way: if your power expenses are high in the summer due to central air conditioning, having an audit and time to implement energy-saving measures before the peak temperatures arrive may be the best option.