Tips for Conducting a Home Energy Audit

Today’s typical family living in a three-bedroom, two-story home spends about $2,500 in energy costs each year. To better manage those costs, consider conducting your own energy audit.

First, find out how much energy is being used, by keeping a log and reading your meter each week. At the end of four weeks, add up the kilowatts used and divide the total by the number of days to get your average daily usage. Once the audit is complete and changes are made, monitor usage again. The next step is to walk around the house and check for the following:

Inside

•    Any air leaks and gaps at baseboards and where the walls and ceilings end up joining

•    Air leaks around electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames and baseboards

•    Gaps and cracks in weather stripping around doors, fireplace dampers, attic hatches and air conditioners

•    Gaps around pipes and wires

•    Air leaks from mail slots

•    Rattling from windows and doors, and daylight leaking in around frames

Outside

•    Air leaks where two building materials meet

•    Improperly caulked doors, windows and outdoor outlets

•    Cracks in the mortar, foundation or siding

•    Missing insulation in the home’s structure

•    Improperly functioning heating/cooling equipment

•    Filters that need to be replaced on forced-air furnaces