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.
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.
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
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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