Conduct an Energy Audit - Tips from MidCountry Bank

Conduct an Energy Audit

A home energy assessment, or home energy audit, is the first step to determine how much energy your home consumes and evaluate what you can do to make your home more energy efficient. An audit can show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time.

With an energy audit, you can:

  • Pinpoint where your home is losing energy
  • Determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems
  • Identify ways to conserve hot water and electricity

You can perform a simple energy assessment yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough assessment.

Do-It-Yourself

With a simple walkthrough, you can likely identify several opportunities in your home. As you conduct your walkthrough, keep a checklist of areas that you have inspected and the opportunities they present. This will help you to prioritize your energy efficiency improvements.

Air Leaks

Eliminating drafts in your home can save you from 5% to 30% in home energy costs per year. It may be as simple as caulking or reapplying weather stripping to solve the problem. It is recommended that you check for common indoor air leaks in places like:

  • Window frames
  • Baseboards
  • Doors
  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches

Insulation

Heat can be lost through the walls and ceiling of your home. You can check the following to reduce heat loss:

  • If an attic hatch is over a temperature-controlled living space, make sure it has as much insulation as your attic
  • In your attic, make sure areas like pipes, ducts and chimneys are sealed
  • Make sure the attic vents are not blocked by insulation
  • With an unheated basement, make sure the space under the living area floor is insulated

Heating and Cooling Equipment

You should have your heating and cooling equipment inspected annually. If it is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with an energy-efficient unit.

You can also insulate any ducts or pipes that travel through unheated spaces to conserve energy.

Professional Assessment

While a do-it-yourself approach may identify ways to save money, a professional energy assessment will go into much greater detail.

A professional audit can include processes like:

  • Blower door test (tests the air tightness of your home's door)
  • Thermographic scans of your home (tests missing or improperly installed insulation in walls and ceilings)
  • Home volatile organic compounds testing (tests living mold, chemicals, etc.)

Not only can a professional audit determine where your home experiences heat loss, it can also find hidden water leaks and overloaded electrical circuits.

For more information on a local professional energy audit, click here.

Whether you do-it-yourself or use a professional, a closer look at your home can help make your energy systems run more efficiently and save you a considerable amount of money throughout the year.

MidCountry Mortgage is your home expert. For more information on home loans to help you expedite your home's efficiency and projects with financial solutions to finance your green dreams, click here.

Let MidCountry Mortgage Be Your Powerful Ally in Your Homeownership Journey!

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