Everybody can do with a cut in their energy bills. Proper home insulation can go a long way towards reducing your energy consumption and energy bills. But first, you need to learn about conducting energy audits for homes. What does this involve?
Identify Air Leaks
You need to identify the gaps that are leaking energy out of your home. Check the walls, flooring, ceilings, and roofing for internal air leaks.
For external air leaks, check spaces under the doors and areas around windows. Seal these areas with weather-stripping. Also check for gaps around switches, plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets. Use caulk to seal all gaps.
You may be losing a lot of heat through your roofing. If your roof is not insulated, consider having it done. If you already have insulation, ensure insulation levels are up-to-date and in line with the recommended levels for your area.
You may need to boost your insulation using fire-proof spray foam. Watch out for areas around ducts, hoses, and switches. Ensure these are insulated.
Consider painting the attic with a vapor barrier to prevent vapor from getting into the attic through the ceiling. Moisture can damage the structure of your home.
Check your wall for insulation. You can do this by poking through an external electric outlet to try and retrieve insulation material. Make sure you turn off your electric supply before you attempt this.
For greater safety, you can also poke into the wall from a hidden place such as behind a closet. Unfortunately, this method cannot tell you whether the entire wall is insulated. For a more thorough wall insulation audit, you will need to conduct a thermographic inspection. Auditing companies like Convenient Home Services, Inc. can help with this.
Ensure your basement is insulated to your area's recommended level. Check doors, windows, ducts, and electric outlets for leaks -- and seal them.
Regular maintenance of your heating appliances will ensure they work efficiently. But over and above this, you need to insulate all ducts and hoses leading to and from your appliances as they can be a major conduit for heat loss.
Also check for dirt along seams. These are indicative of air leaks and should be covered with duct mastic
For an overall audit, and if you have access to the equipment, use an infrared camera to identify cold and hot areas around the house. You can then proceed to insulate them appropriately.
A DIY home audit is a starting point, but will not give you comprehensive results. For a more thorough audit, consult a specialist in energy audits for homes.