For many homeowners, warm summer weather finds them reaching for the air conditioner dial and dreading the spike in energy bills. Before the height of the summer cooling season, spending a Saturday afternoon conducting an energy evaluation. Energy evaluations provide an excellent opportunity to uncover minor issues that can lead to big spikes in your energy bills. Energy evaluations involve a thorough walkthrough of your home to identify potential problems.

Check for drafts and air leaks

Many areas of your home are common sources of air leaks including around baseboards, wall and ceiling junctures, window frames, exterior corners, outlets, and wall-mounted air conditioners.

The Department of Energy recommends using a DIY pressurization test to check for lost energy. Close exterior doors, windows, and chimney flues. Switch off combustion appliances and turn on exhaust fans. Light incense and check for air leaks. The smoke from the incense will jump and flicker if air leaks are present.

Fix air leaks by using a caulk to plug holes and cracks. If leaks are present around storm doors and windows, consider upgrading to new energy-efficient models.

Evaluate your insulation

Inadequate insulation is another common cause of energy loss. As hot air rises, your home’s insulation should prevent it from escaping the home through the walls and ceilings.

Begin your insulation evaluation in the attic. Check to see if there is a vapor barrier between the attic floor and the insulation. Vapor barriers help prevent excessive water vapor, which can cause the insulation to be less effective. Paint the floor with vapor barrier paint, if necessary.

Before checking for wall insulation, be sure to turn off your electricity. Stick a long probing instrument, such as a long screwdriver through the socket into the wall. If you feel some resistance, you have some insulation in the wall. To determine if more insulation is necessary, contact a home improvement specialist for a thermographic inspection.

For more expert information and energy-saving tips, contact the experts at Pipe Works Services. We can help you determine the best way to conduct your DIY energy evaluation and check any areas of concern you might find.

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