A home energy evaluation is a great way to make sure that your home is energy efficient. It’s also a great way to keep potential issues with your HVAC system from getting in the way of home comfort and energy savings. Here are a few ways you can perform your own home energy evaluation and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Locate and Seal Air Leaks
Finding sources of obvious air drafts can represent an energy savings of up to 30 percent each year while improving overall comfort. Check gaps along the edge of your flooring and baseboards, as well as along wall and ceiling junctures, plumbing penetrations, windows, and siding. Most of these gaps can be plugged up with the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.
Check Your Insulation
Carefully check your attic and exterior walls to see if they have the proper type and amount of insulation. Insulation with an R-value of 25 is usually the recommended minimum in most areas. Make sure that your attic vents aren’t blocked by insulation and that there’s a vapor barrier (made of Kraft paper, plastic sheeting or tar paper) underneath the attic insulation.
Inspect Your Heating and Cooling Equipment
Carefully inspect your HVAC system for signs of wear and tear on an annual basis. Don’t forget about minor tasks, such as changing the air filter at least once every three months. If your unit is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient unit. Inspect your ducts for signs of air leaks and have them sealed with duct mastic.
Although a DIY home energy audit can reveal many avenues for energy savings, having one done by a trained professional is the best way to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.