And spring just happens to be a great time to do a home energy audit, especially if you’ll be using air conditioning throughout the summer and don’t want to lose your cool air through leaks.
As someone who lives in a centuries-old house, I can assure you that following the DIY steps below can make both your energy bills more pleasing and your house temperature more comfortable year-round without spending any extra money on heating or cooling.
Indeed, the US Department of Energy recommends doing a periodic home energy audit to make sure you’re not paying for and then losing valuable energy—and shares how to do it in four easy steps:
4-Step DIY Home Energy Audit
1. Check for leaks.
Plugging up energy-sucking drafts can save you up to 30% annually, so have a look around your house to see where air might be escaping.
Any gaps along the baseboard, in the foundation, at junctures of walls and ceilings or around pipes, wires, electrical outlets, mail slots, door and windows need to be sealed.
Caulking or weather stripping will usually do the trick.
2. Check insulation.
Be sure that the insulation levels in your home are at least at the recommended minimums; this is especially important to monitor if you have an older home as recommended levels may have changed since the insulation was first installed.
3. Check lighting sources.
As 10% of your electric bill comes from lighting, you should be sure that you aren’t using higher wattage than necessary; you should consider compact fluorescent light bulbs especially for areas that are lit for hours at a time.
4. Check heating/cooling equipment.
Make sure filters are clean and in working order and that ductwork is clear of dirt streaks, which mean that air is leaking out.
Moreover, if you’ve had your unit for more than 15 years, it may be time to consider replacing it with a new, more energy efficient model.
For more detailed instructions on how to perform a do-it-yourself home energy audit and for more energy (and money!) saving tips, visit the Department of Energy’s Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Have you done an energy audit of your home? Will you?