Button up your home and stay nice and toasty this winter
Did you know most public utilities will offer home energy audits (energy assessments) and recommendations for free to their customers?
A home energy audit is of great benefit, it can tell you how much power your home uses, and helps identify problem areas in your home where energy is being lost. Plus, it’s one of the simplest ways to save energy, and money on your utility bills.
According to U.S. Department of Energy, Air infiltration can account for 30% or more of a home’s heating and cooling costs and contributes to problems with moisture, noise, dust, and the entry of pollutants, insects, and rodents.
Common Points for Air Infiltration
Doors and Windows – Look for places that need to be sealed; look at the quality of weather stripping between frames and sashes around your doors and windows. Are they tightly sealed, is the seal broken, is air leaking in or out, does it need to be sealed, or replaced?
Plumbing – Inspect under the kitchen and bathroom sink, around the pipes where the drain goes down in leading toward the crawl space of the house or an unconditioned basement. Often times there are big holes around the pipes and are a big source of air leakage into a home. Caulk or spray foam are a good inexpensive way to seal those areas; it’s an easy way to cut the air infiltration into your home.
Attic Access Hatch and Pull downstairs – Be sure to inspect the attic access doors and stairs, most often the attic has the biggest holes for air leakage. Make access doors and stairs airtight by using latch bolts, and weather stripping. Also, add a rigid insulation layer to the back of access doors, you could add an insulated cover to the top of the attic pull down stairs.
Remember you don’t have to find or fill every nook and cranny to reduce your utility bills, but if you take care of the largest holes which are most often located in the attic, crawlspace or basement, it will definitely save you some money. No matter the season, hot or cold it’s always a good time to assess your home’s performance.
If you are interested in a home energy audit, contact your local energy supplier. Or feel free to do a simple walk through and perform an energy audit yourself. Energy.gov is a good resource that provides how-to-instructions on how to do it yourself, and provides links to qualified professionals who can help you do the job.