Directions For A DIY Residence Vitality Audit

The electricity bills have risen steadily in the foreseeable future without a break. Homeowners are increasingly turning to efficient building envelopes to create houses that use less energy. Investing to make your home more efficient and comfortable will save you money in the long run and reduce your impact on the environment.

But energy efficient retrofits don’t come cheap, and you want to know where to get the most energy-efficient bang for your buck. One way to determine where your energy saving investment is going the furthest is to conduct an energy audit of your home. This shows where your indoor air-conditioned air is escaping so that you can close the gaps in your building envelope.

While a professional home energy audit is more accurate, you can do your own and get an idea of ​​which issues need to be addressed first. Keep a checklist of topics that you can prioritize based on your budget.

Every house has gaps, cracks and holes through which indoor air escapes. You can save up to five to 30 percent per year by closing gaps in your building envelope. Filling these gaps with sealant is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce your energy consumption.

Carry out a visual inspection both inside and outside, paying particular attention to wall connections, sanitary openings, lighting openings, sockets and switch panels, around door and window frames, wall air conditioning units, and around ventilation slots and fans.

Check the seals on doors and windows for cracks or damage. Check along the baseboards where floors and ceilings meet the walls.

Another way to check for gaps is to do a blower door test. You can perform a building pressure test without the fan door equipment.

  • Take your test on a windy, cool day
  • Turn off all combustion equipment such as gas water heaters and stoves
  • Close all openings such as windows, doors, and chimneys if you have fireplaces
  • Suck the air out of your home by turning on all exhaust fans, dryer vents, bathroom fans, stove fans, etc.
  • Light an incense stick and slowly move from room to room. Pay particular attention to places where leaks often occur, such as B. on windows and sockets
  • Smoke that is blown in or sucked out shows you where the leaks are

Once leaks are found, caulk the openings or replace the waterproofing strips to seal your home.

This type of upgrade costs more, but it makes a big difference to your monthly electricity bill.

Make sure your skylight is insulated, sealed tight, and that the weather around the attic opening is in good condition.

Check for gaps and holes, especially near air vents, electrical boxes, plumbing, and chimneys.

Check the roof vents to make sure they aren’t blocked by insulation. Roof vents allow moisture that accumulates in the attic to escape.

Make sure your insulation isn’t flattened or sloped as it will decrease its effectiveness. Measure the amount of insulation in your attic to make sure it meets current building standards. If you have an older home, improving your insulation can really help close the deal.

You can check the thickness of the insulation in your wall by turning off the circuit breaker on an outside wall socket. Make absolutely sure that the device is switched off. Remove the cover plate and carefully push a crochet hook into the wall. This tells you how much insulation there is in the wall and when you remove the hook some insulation will leak out so you can see what type of insulation it is.

Unfortunately, this test does not tell you whether your wall insulation has set. Only a thermographic inspection can show where the insulation is in a wall.

Is your basement or crawlspace conditioned? If not, it should have at least R-25 insulation. This is especially important when heating or cooling devices, pipes or lines run through this room.

Check that your water heater, hot water pipes and ducts are insulated.

Your heating and cooling systems should be inspected annually. If your heating or cooling systems have filters, they should be cleaned and checked regularly according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Some filters need to be cleaned every month. This greatly improves the efficiency of these systems.

Have a professional servicing your oven annually or do it yourself. Get a guide here.

If your stove or air conditioner is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with an Energy Star device. Check your pipes for gaps, holes, or other corrosion and secure them with mastic.

Vampire loads make up 10 to 15 percent of your home’s energy consumption. Get a power strip with a timer so your devices don’t turn on when you work or sleep. If your equipment is old, consider investing in Energy Star equipment to lower your monthly electricity bill.

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