9 Easy Steps For A Home Energy Audit

Homeowners everywhere are concerned about saving money on their monthly bills. With gas and electricity being one of the biggest expenses, it’s normal to wonder if your home is running as efficiently as it should. Performing a home energy audit can help you identify ways to save money on the utility bills for your home. Don’t worry, it’s not a terribly complicated or difficult process to pinpoint areas in the home that may be costing you more money than they should. Following these 7 easy steps to perform a basic DIY home energy audit will help identify any areas that need improvement.

1. Gather the necessary tools

You will need a few tools to perform a basic audit such as a ladder or step stool to help you access high or hard-to-reach areas, a flashlight, a laser thermometer, a candle or incense stick and a notepad to record your observations. 

2. Check for drafts

Check for drafts around your home, especially near doors and windows. You can use a lit incense stick or a candle to detect drafts. Look for any disturbance of the smoke from the incense stick when you hold it near doors and windows, especially near any obvious gaps that may need to be sealed better. A laser thermometer can also be used to check for air leaks around doors, windows, and other openings in your home. Simply point the laser at the area in question and see if the temperature reading changes. If it does, it’s likely that air is leaking in or out, indicating that weather stripping or caulking may be needed.

3. Inspect your insulation

Check your insulation in the attic, walls, and under floors. Look for areas that are missing or have insufficient insulation. By measuring surface temperatures with a laser thermometer, you can quickly and easily measure the surface temperature of various areas of your home, such as walls, ceilings, and floors. By comparing temperatures in different rooms or areas, you can identify areas that are losing or gaining heat and may need additional insulation or sealing.

4. Check your lighting

Check the lighting in your home, make sure all light bulbs are energy-efficient LED bulbs. Look for areas where lighting may be unnecessary and can be turned off. Putting outdoor lights on a timer and installing dimmer switches on interior lights that may not need full power certain times of the day can help make sure electricity isn’t being wasted on unnecessary lighting.

5. Inspect your appliances

A quick way to know if your appliances are energy efficient is to look for the ENERGY STAR label. Another easy way is to use a laser thermometer to monitor the efficiency of your appliances, such as your refrigerator or oven. By measuring the temperature of the appliance’s surface, you can get an idea of how efficiently it’s running. If the surface temperature is much higher than the surrounding air, it may be using more energy than necessary.

6. Check your heating and cooling system

Check your heating and cooling systems to make sure they are working properly. It’s important to inspect your air filters and clean or replace them if necessary. Make sure that air registers and vents are not blocked by furniture or other items that can restrict airflow. You can also use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the air coming out of your vents and compare it to the temperature of the air entering the return air vent. The temperature difference should be within the recommended range specified by your system’s manufacturer.

7. Check your water heater

Check your water heater for leaks and make sure it is set to the recommended temperature. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the hot water coming out of your faucet. If it’s significantly hotter than the temperature setting on the water heater, the thermostat may need to be adjusted.

8. Consider hiring an energy audit professional

A professional energy auditor will conduct a thorough analysis of your home’s energy usage, identifying areas where energy is being wasted and opportunities to increase energy efficiency. They also have specialized equipment that can identify issues that may not be visible to the naked eye, such as thermal imaging cameras and blower door testers. Based on the results of the energy audit, a professional energy auditor can provide expert recommendations for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.

9. Create an action plan

The last and most important step is to act on a plan based on your findings. Your home energy audit should provide valuable insights into your home’s energy usage and help you identify opportunities to improve efficiency, save money on energy costs, and increase the value and comfort of your home. 

Sansbury Electric is a small, locally owned business, with over 30 years of experience that have served Washington, D.C, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware since 2010. Our team is known for our high-quality electrical services with a team that delivers a client focused experience. Honesty, ease for the client, friendliness, and an on-time and on-budget experience are the core values that drive our day-to-day interactions.

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