A Home Energy Audit That You Can Do Yourself

Nobody knows better than you, the homeowner: If you think your home is drafty, it probably is. So confirm your suspicions by conducting a home energy audit, which will help you identify leaks, and pinpoint where you can make appropriate upgrades. Doing so could save you up to 30 percent on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

sealing air leaks, Boston, Massachusetts

Before you get started with your home energy audit:

  • Close all exterior doors, windows and the fireplace flue.
  • Turn off your water heater and gas-burning furnace.
  • Turn on kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans or use a large fan to draw air out of your home.

Now you're ready to check for leaks. Take a long-stemmed lighter with you and hold it up against the areas in your home listed below. If you're unsure whether you're feeling an air leak, a flickering flame will confirm your suspicions:

  • Around baseboards
  • At the intersection where walls meet ceilings
  • Windows and storm windows. A general rule of thumb to use to identify leaks: If the windows rattle, they are probably leaking air
  • Doors, where the same rule of thumb apply
  • Wall or window-mounted air conditioners
  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Fireplace damper
  • Attic hatch

On the exterior, focus on those areas where two different building materials butt up against each other, including:

  • All exterior corners
  • Where the siding meets the chimney
  • Areas where the exterior brick or siding butts up against the foundation

Apply caulk or weather stripping so that no gaps or cracks remain. Then continue with your home energy audit:

  • Check the insulation levels in your attic, ensuring that no insulation is blocking the attic vents.
  • Check the filters in your furnace and air conditioner, remembering that during peak periods they should be changed about every month or two.

The experts at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning stand ready to help you with your home energy audit, particularly when it comes to checking the insulation in your walls, which is as vital as it is tricky. We've been Massachusetts' trusted HVAC company for more than 80 years. Call us today and begin realizing your energy savings.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.

Leak sealing image via Shutterstock

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