The Home Energy Audit: How It Will Help You Minimize Energy Consumption

How far will a lighter, pen and notepad take you? All through your house, inside and out, as you conduct a home energy audit that will help you minimize your energy consumption.

A home energy audit basically focuses your attention on areas in your home that are susceptible to drafts and leaks, and therefore are wasting energy. Once you find them and fix them, expect to cut your energy bill anywhere from 5 to 30 percent a year, says the U.S. Department of Energy. And don’t forget that your home will be more comfortable as a result of your efforts.

Before you begin, minimize some potential distractions by:

  • Turning off your gas-burning furnace and water heater
  • Closing all of your windows and exterior doors
  • Shutting the fireplace flue
  • Turning on bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans

These actions will keep your home safe, while depressurizing it to effectively find leaks. Now grab a long-stemmed lighter, pen and a notepad. The lighter will help confirm your suspicions of drafts, because you will prop it near trouble spots and wait for the flame to flicker. If it does, you have a bona fide air leak that needs to be repaired.

Here is a list of prime trouble spots that you should check as part of your home energy audit:

  • Windows and storm windows
  • Doors
  • Wall or window-mounted air conditioners
  • Baseboards
  • At points where walls meet ceilings
  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Fireplace damper
  • Attic hatch

Take notes as you move around your home or post sticky notes at “drafty” places so that you can make the repairs in one fell swoop. Then apply caulk, weatherstripping or expanding foam spray to seal those pesky cracks and gaps. If you’re uncertain or need help, don’t hesitate to call Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Continue your home energy audit by:

  • Checking the insulation levels in your attic
  • Checking the filters in your furnace and air conditioner and replacing them, if necessary
  • Inspecting your light bulbs to ensure they are energy efficient
  • Programmable thermostat – correctly programmed can help reduce your energy – typically 1 degree is worth 3 percent in utility savings on an 8 hour period.

If you’re like a lot of homeowners in the greater Cincinnati area, you’ll call Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for help in inspecting the exterior of your home for drafts. Call us today and see for yourself that we’re ready to roll 24/7.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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