Though a professional energy audit is the best way to determine how much energy your home is using (and wasting), San Jacinto homeowners can still conduct their own audit to find any problem areas and make the appropriate repairs. Below, we’ve laid out a simple checklist of steps to take to conduct your own DIY home energy audit.
DIY Home Energy Audit Checklist
Do you know how much energy you use at home? A simple but diligent audit of your home energy usage can help you identify areas for improvement as well as cut costs throughout the year. We’ve put together a simple checklist of common problem areas that you can check for energy loss during your DIY home energy audit:
Locate air leaks.
Air leaks are the first thing you should check for during your energy audit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save between 10 and 20% of home energy usage by reducing drafts in your house. Not to mention, it creates a more comfortable home environment for you and your family.
Look for any gaps or cracks on the edge of your flooring as well as where the walls and ceiling meet. You should also look for leaks around windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets. Once you locate leaks, plug or caulk the cracks and holes to seal the leaks.
Without proper insulation, homeowners can lose a lot of heat through the walls and ceiling. Your home’s insulation may not be up to today’s standards, especially if the house is older. That’s why it is important to check for adequate insulation during your DIY home energy audit.
Start by looking in the attic to ensure that any openings around pipes and ductwork are sealed properly. Ensure that the attic vents are not blocked by any insulation, and check to see that the entire attic floor is covered with the recommended amount of insulation.
Inspect heating and cooling equipment.
In addition to changing your air filter regularly, you should also have your heating and cooling equipment inspected by a professional at least once a year. During your annual HVAC tune-up, your technician will make sure that the system is clean and running smoothly. He or she will also check for any worn or broken parts and make any necessary repairs. This helps ensure that your system is running as efficiently as possible.
If your unit is over 15 years old, then you might want to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. If you need to schedule your annual maintenance appointment or find out about your HVAC system upgrade options, give us a call today: (951) 663-4895.
Review lighting choices.
Lighting can account for about 10% of your electric bill, which is why it’s important to review the lighting choices that you’ve made in your home. Replace older, more inefficient bulbs with energy-saving incandescent bulbs or LEDs. When you purchase new bulbs, make sure to pay attention to the brightness.
If you find that your lighting use is contributing to your high energy bill, work on changing your habits by turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. In addition to changing your habits, you can also use sensors, dimmers, and timers to reduce lighting use throughout the year.
Examine appliance and electronics usage.
The last factor that you need to consider in your home energy audit is your use of appliances and electronics. Which appliances and electronics you have and how you use them can have a significant impact on your monthly energy costs. Take note of which appliances and electronics you use on a daily basis. Then, use this appliance energy calculator from Energy.gov to estimate how much energy they use.
Once you’ve determined how much energy you use through appliance and electronics usage, work on saving more energy by making simple changes to your habits. This can include unplugging an appliance when it is not in use or changing the settings on your electronics to energy-savings mode. You may also want to consider purchasing more energy-efficient appliances to reduce more energy over time.
Do you like reading about energy efficiency? Check back on our blog each month for more helpful tips on how to save energy and lower your monthly bills.