Evaluating Home Energy Efficiency
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated September 7, 2022)
Who doesn't want to make their lives a little "greener" today? After all, if you can make your home as energy efficient as possible, then you will not only reduce your carbon footprint you will also reduce your monthly expenses. The trick to getting started on this road to a more energy wise home though is for you begin evaluating home energy efficiency. Many of the tests you can do yourself, and can actually do in less than an hour. While these initial tests will not tell you everything it will tell you the basics of what needs to be done, or even if something needs to be done at all. Here are some of the basic evaluation strategies that you can use yourself, and a little bit of information about what a specialist can do for you.
- Check windows and doors. Check all your doors and windows to see if there are any drafts. The way that you do this is to close and lock all of the doors and windows in your home and turn on any air conditioning or heating that you may have. Turn on items like bathroom fans and hood fans to help encourage signs for leaks. Light a stick of incense and then hold it near the door and window to see if the smoke flutters away or not. If it does, then you know you have a leak.
- Pay attention to signs. Walk around your home, inside and outside, and look for any signs that your home energy efficiency is not up to par. Some examples of this are things like old or worn weather stripping, caulking and sealing becoming deteriorated, and so on. Look for any gaps between windows, door frames, and the walls they are attached to. When looking at windows look to see if there is any condensation, ice, or frost that is building up on the interior of closed window sashes. If you see any of these things then you know that you have some kind of a leak or other problem that needs to be fixed.
- Compare temperatures. Compare the temperature in different parts of each room in your home. Within each room there shouldn't be a difference of more than one or two degrees, anything more than that indicate that there is a problem. Some examples of the problems you can find yourself faced with are things like poor air circulation, or even poor seals around doors and windows.
- Hire a specialist. The most thorough way be evaluating home energy efficiency is to hire a specialist to do the work for you. While this is definitely more expensive than doing the work for you, you can have more in depth testing done. You could get an infrared photo of your home, which will tell you exactly where the trouble spots of your home are (blue usually means cool exteriors and no heat loss, while red means the opposite), and an air infiltration analysis. This test is where the specialist hooks up a blower to a door, turns it on. This will reduce the air pressure in your home and allow the specialist to identify any leaks or other problems around the home.
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