How to Perform a Home Energy Audit

young man adjusting thermostat in home

Energy bills can take a huge chunk out of our wallets. It’s why so many homeowners look to save money on their energy bills and make their homes more comfortable.

A home energy audit is the best place to start.

While a professional home energy audit is the best way to find where your home is losing energy, you can also perform one yourself. Here are some steps to get you started:

Find air leaks

Air leaks, or drafts, are one of the most common ways that your home loses energy and warmth. The more air you lose, the colder your house will be in the winter (and warmer in the summer), and the more your HVAC system has to work to keep your house comfortable.

Here’s a quick checklist you can run through to find air leaks in your home:

  • Check for gaps along the baseboard or edge of your flooring
  • Check for gaps at the juncture of your walls and ceilings
  • Inspect the outside of your home for gaps and cracks
  • Examine and feel around windows, doors, switches, electrical outlets, and lighting and plumbing fixtures
  • Check to ensure your fireplace damper is closed

Check for proper ventilation

Home ventilation is often talked about when preventing mold in your home, but it’s also important for energy usage. Backdrafting occurs when your many combustion appliances and exhaust fans compete for fresh air. If there’s a lack of fresh air, then an exhaust fan could pull the combustion gases from, say, your gas stove back into your home.

In general, one square inch of vent opening is needed for 1000 Btu of appliance input heat. This can be difficult for typical DIYers to check, so contact your local utility company or energy professional.

Examine your HVAC system

Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance for it to perform optimally. Change your filters, clean your equipment, and check your ductwork for dirt streaks. If your appliances are more than 15 years old, you may need to consider replacing them for something more efficient.

Check your insulation

Poor insulation, or even a lack of insulation, can be one of the main culprits for energy loss. After all, insulation is what keeps the warm air in and the cold air out (and vice versa in the summertime). However, if you do not have the proper amount of insulation, or if your insulation is too old, your HVAC system will have to work overtime to make up for it.

In that respect, you’ll need to hire a quality insulation company to remove your old insulation and install higher quality replacement insulation. If you’re in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, turn to Wyatt Insulation for all your residential insultation services. Contact us today at 601-334-1041 to learn more.

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