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Ensure an Energy Efficient House This Winter

Conduct a Home Energy Audit This Fall for an Energy Efficient House

By Mark J. Donovan

An energy efficient house is tantamount to keeping winter heating bills down. By conducting a fall season home energy audit no doubt you will find ways on saving energy at home this winter. Even if your home was originally constructed as an energy efficient house, ultimately time and nature have a way of taking their toll on your home. For example, opening and closing doors and windows over months and years can cause door/window weather stripping to break down and lose its ability to insulate and protect your home from cold winter drafts.


Energy Efficient House Inspection


To ensure an energy efficient home this winter grab a pen and notebook, and take a tour of your home and conduct your own home energy audit. Start in the furnace room and check to see when you last had your furnace cleaned. It should be cleaned every year, even if it is a gas furnace. A clean furnace is critical for ensuring that it is operating safely and energy efficiently.

If your home has a basement, check the exposed hot water supply pipes and see if they are insulated with pipe foam insulation.

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If not, insulate them. Itís cheap and it is an easy diy project for saving energy at home.

Next on your home energy audit for achieving an energy efficient house, is to check all the doors and windows and confirm that they open and close properly. Also inspect the door/window weather stripping to confirm that it's in good working order as well. Ideally examine the doors and windows on a cool windy day so that you can check for cold air drafts.

The attic is the chief culprit for winter home energy loss and not having an energy efficient home.


Heat rises and if the attic is improperly insulated heat from the lower living areas of the home will find its way into the attic and eventually out of the home via the ridge and soffit roof vents.


Inspect the attic for proper insulation. Depending upon where you live you should have at least R-30 or R-38 insulation in the attic. Make sure when inspecting the insulation that you check for small breaks in the insulation. Even the smallest of un-insulated areas in the attic can lead to a dramatic reduction in an energy efficient house.

Next take a look at the shower heads in your bathrooms. Hot water heating is another major culprit in high energy costs. By replacing the old shower heads with low flow shower heads you can dramatically save energy at home.

After addressing the big ticket items in your home energy audit, look at the electrical appliances and light fixtures. By replacing the standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs you can reduce your homeís lighting energy consumption by up to as much as 70%. Also, if you have the budget, consider replacing some of the old appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave with star energy appliances. Likewise consider doing the same with the washer and dryer.

So conduct your own home energy audit this fall, and implement some if not all of the suggestions I recommended. By doing so you will be guaranteed to ensure an energy efficient house this winter.


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For more help on building a new custom home, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's New Home Construction Bid Sheet. The New Home Construction Bid Sheet provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating your own new home construction building costs.


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