If you live in an older home and wonder what you can do to make your home more energy efficient, you aren’t alone. Before you start making changes, you need to assess your home. This can either be done by a certified contractor who performs energy audits or you can start by doing your own energy inspection.
According to Green Building Advisor (GBA), you should start the inspection in the basement where you will:
- Check for air leaks, particularly around the mudsill, exterior doors, windows, at utility penetrations, at pet doors, and at dryer vents.
- Inspect the rim joist for insulation.
- Inspect your basement walls for insulation.
- Look for exposed dirt floors.
- Inspect your heating equipment.
- Inspect your ductwork.
- Inspect your water heater.
Once you’re done in the basement, it’s time to move up to the attic:
- Inspect the attic hatch.
- Inspect the insulation on the attic floor.
- Look for air leaks.
- Inspect your ducts.
- Look for moisture problems.
And finally, do an above-grade inspection:
- Assess the insulation.
- Look for mold or water damage.
- Inspect your windows.
- Assess your appliances.
Now that you’ve completed your DIY energy inspection, you can begin to determine where you will get the most bang for your buck when it comes to energy retrofits. The next step would be to hire a home renovations contractor who is certified to do home energy audits. “Not only will you then get a blower-door test and an infrared inspection — both of which are invaluable — you’ll get something even more important: an inspection by a trained expert who knows what to look for,” says Martin Halladay, GBA advisor.
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For more detailed information on completing each step of your home energy inspection, please visit GreenBuildingAdvisor.com.