Now that green home building becomes more of a necessity rather than a growing trend, it helps a lot if home owners have a home energy-efficiency checklist at hand.
Check out this simple list of home-energy must-do’s to know if your home is indeed, energy-efficient.
1. Look for drafts in the areas that are most susceptible, like windows and doors that lead to the outside. A burning incense stick is a great draft locater. The smoke will toss and turn under the slightest breeze, making it ideal for hard-to-find drafts. Plus, if you choose a pleasant scent, it will fill your home with comforting aromas.
If the caulk around your windows is beginning to show signs of wear, then it’s time to clean them up and apply a fresh bead. Use a putty knife or razor blade to clean the old caulk away and then simply re-caulk the windows.
If your windows are in bad shape and you don’t have the finances to have them replaced before the cold air sets in, inexpensive plastic window covers will greatly help your situation.
For doors, check the status of the weatherstripping. Is it cracked or torn in places? Maybe it’s just worn down from constant opening and closing. Either way, most hardware stores have a huge selection of inexpensive weatherstripping that can help keep the cold out and the warm in. Many styles are easy to install – just peel-and-stick! Make sure that the door closes snuggly and use the incense stick to re-check.
2. Check for drafts around electrical outlets and switch plates. With a few dozen outlets and switches scattered throughout your home, there can be some significant heat loss if the walls aren’t insulated properly. Picking up some waterproof gaskets used for outside outlets and installing them behind the covers can reduce air flow.
3. If you have a home with attic access, you will want to make sure that the hatch is insulated. Since heat rises, it will quickly exit through an un-insulated attic hatch.
4. Check for drafts around baseboards. In most cases, there’s a small gap between the bottom of the drywall and the floor. A bead of caulk along the baseboards can really help prevent heat loss, and as a bonus, filling in the gaps can make the baseboards look nicer.
5. Check fireplace dampers and dryer exhaust louvers (on the outside of your house) to make sure they function properly. Many people are surprised at how much heat can escape their house by not having a louvered dryer vent. When the dryer is not on, the louvers remain closed and help to keep the warm air inside the home.
6. Another place to check for air leaks is around your window or wall air conditioner. If it’s possible, your best bet is to remove the window unit for the winter. If that’s not possible, seal the leaks with caulk.
7. On the outside of your home, inspect all of the water faucets and any outlets or pipesyou have entering your house. Caulk any holes or gaps you may find. While you’re outside, check the siding and exterior of the windows. Again, apply caulk where needed.