Blower door test during a home energy audit. | Holtkamp Heating & A/C, Inc.
Nearly everyone has a list of resolutions they'd like to tackle in 2013 – travel more, learn a new instrument, run that marathon. As Becky mentioned in Wednesday's entry on energy-saving resolutions, it may be worth considering a home energy audit that can help you save money by saving energy next year. It's an easy way to identify changes you can make to your home to save that extra cash you'll need to put toward a pair of new running shoes or that plane ticket to Peru.
Professional home energy audits are one of your best bets for identifying major savings in your home's energy use. You'll need to find a trusted professional auditor who can perform many different tests throughout your home to detect energy leaks. A blower door test, for example, can help you find air leaks in your house that can make heating and cooling unnecessarily expensive. A professional auditor might also conduct a thermographic inspection to find spots in your home that are leaking heat and which may benefit from new or additional insulation. Making improvements identified in tests like these, among others, can help you improve your home's energy efficiency and save you between 5% and 30% on your monthly energy bill.
For those do-it-yourself types, there are also a range of things you can do that might not require hiring a professional home energy auditor. Locate air leaks that commonly form along baseboards or door and window frames. You can also check for gaps around outdoor water faucets, and where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet. Check the insulation in your attic and around the attic hatch. Visit Energy Saver for more information on identifying some simple areas for improvement in a do-it-yourself home energy audit.
Remember, though, that conducting a home energy audit is only the first step – making the recommended upgrades is what will really save you money throughout the year and bring you closer to keeping your New Year's resolutions.