DIY Home Energy Audit To Help Reduce Your Heating And Electricity Utility Bills

by John

diy energy audit of your house to cut utility bill

You can perform a Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit to help identify the areas in your house that may responsible in inflating your utility bill. Here is a DIY 8 step energy audit guide to help you cut down on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time. All you would need is a pen and a piece of paper and get ready to take a tour of your own house.

A DIY Home Energy Audit Guide

1. Insulation Check

Almost all newly constructed homes should have insulation in the walls by the builder. If your house is a little older, then you might want to make sure that your walls are wells insulated. To do this, remove a switch board and take a look to see if you can spot any insulation in the wall. Please make sure to turn off the electric mains before you do this.

Also take a look at your attic. See if you have at least one foot of insulation in your attic. Anything less than a feet is less and may not be insulating well. You would need to add more insulation in that case.

2. Inspect All Windows

Windows are an important feature in any house. It allows natural light into the house and brings in fresh air. But it can also be a source of air leakage and drafts. Check your windows to see if they are loose. If they are loose then adding a little weather stripping will help tightening them. Take a look at the window molding to identify cracks. You should caulk cracks in the molding so that it is perfectly sealed. Lastly, check the glass panes to make sure they are sitting tight. For single-pane glasses, covering with plastic sheeting can help keep the heated or cooled air in.

3. Inspect All Doors

Just like windows, doors can also be a big source of leakage. Look closely at your doors, especially the ones opening to the outside, to check the seal. The seal has to be tight and you should not see any outside light coming in through the edges of the doors when they are closed. If you do see light coming in then you can add some weather stripping to tighten the door seal. Caulk any cracks that you may find between the walls and door frame.

4. Check HVAC Ducts

Check for gaps and cracks in and around the joints of your heating and cooling system. Use good quality duct tape to completely seal the cracks in these ducts.

5. Thermostat Setting

Get a programmable digital thermostat, it is worth spending money on. It will take out the guess work and set the temperature of the house to exactly what you want it to be. The non-digital ones are hard to read to get an accurate temperature reading, you end up just guessing what the temperature is.

Make sure to set the thermostat temperature down by 5 – 10 degrees when you go to bed or when you plan on being out of the house during the day. One good tip that i once received from a friend was that to turn up the thermostat in the morning, after waking up, for about half – to one hour and then turning it down for the rest of the day. The heat would be retained during the day and you will be comfortable. The same can be done when your air conditioner comes on during the hot summer days.

6. Check Fireplace

Skip this step, if you do not have a fireplace in your house. If you do then check that your fireplace flue is closed when you are not using it. Also make sure that the flue has a tight seal. Some people just do not use their fireplace because they don’t like it much. Such folks should consider to just seal the fireplace using some board insulation.

7. Water Heater Temperature Setting

If you have a really heater that is more than 15 years old, consider buying a new energy efficient water heater. The new ones are way better, less bulkier and use energy efficiently to keep your water heated. You may even qualify for some government rebates when you buy an energy efficient heater.

Make sure the temperature on the heater is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the perfect temperature setting as it will ensure that the water coming from your shower is warm enough and small children (and sometime yourself) do not get burned when they turn on the hot water tap.

8. Check The Outside Switch Plates

Leakage can occur at your outside switch plates too, so make sure to check them for gaps. If there are gaps along the sides of the switchboard, buy some foam gaskets and put them behind the switch covers.

Following these eight steps will help you cut down your utility bills to a large extent. Be smart and turn off lights, Television, Computers and other electronic equipment when they not in use. Make sure to check out the smart power strip LCG5 for energy savings and surge protection.

Creative Commons License photo credit: brendan.wood

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