Advice for homeowners: Inspect your house for these common energy problems to get a better idea on where your money is best spent Owners of older homes often contact Green Building Advisor and ask, "What can I do to make my home more energy efficient?" My standard answer goes something like this: "The first step is to hire a certified rater to perform an energy audit of your home. The audit report will include a tailor-made list of retrofit measures to address your home's specific problems."
The advice is good, but it doesn't do much to educate the questioner. Perhaps you are an intrepid homeowner who is willing to poke around your home's nooks and crannies. Is there anything you can learn about your house without a blower door and an infrared camera?
Yes, of course there is. This article will explain the steps that homeowners can take to assess the condition of their house from an energy perspective.
Inspect the basement If your house has a basement, that's a good place to start your inspection. (If your house has a crawlspace or an above-grade mechanical room, some of the advice in this section also applies to those areas.) The most important tool for this type of inspection is a powerful flashlight.
Check for air leaks. On a cold day, it's fairly easy to locate basement air leaks; you may be able to feel infiltrating air with your bare hand. You may find that a...