A Home Energy Audit Checklist

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A home energy audit sounds expensive, doesn’t it?  However, many utility companies offer free or discounted audits to their customers.  And, there are several websites that offer advice on do-it-yourself audits.  More importantly — a home energy audit will offer you ways to save energy and money!  Below is a home energy audit checklist to help you get started.

A professional energy audit by your utility company or a certified Home Energy Rater includes an inspection of each room in your home, as well as an evaluation of your utility bills.  An audit covers building construction and tightness, windows and doors, heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, kitchen and laundry appliances, lighting, and water heating equipment.

Professionals Tools:
(When you hire a pro, make sure the company uses these tools.)

Blower Door Test A blower door is set up in the frame of an exterior doorway.  A fan in the blower door pulls air out of your house.  Once the indoor and outdoor air pressure is at different levels, air comes through cracks and openings.  The energy auditor can determine the air infiltration rate.  A smoke pencil may also be used to detect air leaks.

Thermographic Scan Energy auditors use infrared cameras to detect problems with insulation inside walls. Infrared cameras can also detect roof leaks and problems with electrical wiring.

Do-It-Yourself Information:

The Energy Savers website gives detailed instructions for a do-it-yourself audit to spot potential problems.

The Home Energy Saver site helps you see the utility cost breakdown for the average home in your zip code vs. an efficient home in your zip code.  You can plug in specifics about the size and age of your home, as well as your heating and cooling appliances, to get an idea of your energy efficiency.  It also suggests upgrades for potential savings.

At ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick, you can input your utility bill information and see how you stack up against other homes of a similar size in your neighborhood.  You’ll need your utility bills from the last 12 months. (You can request a 12-month summary from your utility company.)

Before calling your utility company, make you are getting the best rate available in your area.  Compare electricity companies and natural gas companies at Allconnect.com.

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