DIY Home Energy Assessment
There are many different ways to assess the energy efficiency of your home. Hiring a professional is a great choice but if you are unable to pay for an energy audit, an alternate solution is to perform a walk-through of your home while keeping a “check list” of problems or issues you have inspected. Be as thorough and detailed as possible and once you’ve finished your assessment you can either research solutions via the web or your local home improvement shopping center.*
Not sure what to include on your DIY energy assessment checklist? Here’s a helpful list to get you started. Be sure to take detailed notes on all findings:
1. Take careful note of any and all air leaks (Drafts) in the perimeter of the home – this includes gaps in the flooring, ceiling, walls, door frames, windows, etc.
2. Also take note of any air leakage that might come from more hard to notice places such as switch plates, fireplaces, attics, electrical outlets, wall-mounted AC units, etc.
3. Carefully inspect window and door frames – if you place your hands on them and shake them, are you able to move or rattle them? This can be an indicator of possible leakage.
4. Walk to the outside of the house and inspect all exterior corners – including where the siding and chimneys meet and areas where the foundation and the bottom of the siding/brick meet up.
5. If applicable – check the insulation in your attic. Heat loss through the ceiling and walls in your home can be significant if there is insufficient insulation. Also make sure attic vents are not blocked by insulation.
6. If your basement is not heated – check for insulation that should lie under the living area flooring.
7. Inspect the heating and cooling equipment that is in your home. What shape are your filters in? Most filters should be replaced every month or two to ensure optimal performance and air quality. How old are your heating/cooling units? It might be time for an update or a replace of system.
8. Inspect the wattage size of all light bulbs in your home. You might be using a larger watt size such as 100, 200 where 60 or 75 watts would be sufficient.
*Keep in mind this DIY tip is not an all-inclusive energy audit and does not suggest all available options for home energy assessment. The best option is to have a professional perform the energy assessment to make sure nothing goes unnoticed.