Think back to last summer. Were your energy bills higher than you would have liked? Want to spend less this year? Chances are you can – but first you need to figure out where you’re losing energy. While it won’t take the place of a professional home performance test, this quick do-it-yourself home energy audit will give you a handle on what parts of your home may be costing you more to heat and cool than you would like.
- First, check for air leaks. You may not realize it, but you’re essentially leaving a window open all year long if you fail to plug the small gaps in your home. Plugging these leaks can save you up to 30 percent annually on your heating and cooling bills. Inspect your windows, doors, caulking and weather stripping, and check for gaps around chimneys, vents and any places where wires or pipes penetrate the walls. Seal gaps with caulk or expanding foam.
- Inspect your insulation. Try to determine if your walls and attic are insulated. If not, you’ll definitely want to have this done quickly, before Sacramento temperatures peak. Don’t forget the sill between your home and its foundation. This is often overlooked and can be a major source of heat transfer.
- Don’t forget your lighting. If you haven’t yet installed compact fluorescent light bulbs, consider doing so now. One bulb can save you more than $40 over its life time.
- Finally, inspect your heating and cooling system. Replace any dirty filters, and make sure the equipment is operating properly. If you don’t know what to look for, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. And get your annual HVAC tune-ups.
Once you’ve completed your do-it-yourself home energy audit, you’ll be ready to work on making improvements and start saving money. Did you know that you can get up to $9,000 back from the state of California on a home energy retrofit, and 100 percent financial assistance is available? Contact us at All Year Heating, Air & Solar to find out how.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy audits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.