Back in April of this year we purchased our first home with the help of our wonderful Realtor, Paula Kellam. She helped us find the perfect home, and now she is helping us maintain it. Every couple of months she sends out helpful lists (sometimes emails, sometimes in the mail so I can have a checklist handy!), and I was happy to find one in my inbox the other day. She compiled a list of things to make sure your home is the most energy efficient it can be. These kinds of lists are great for me because we are first time home owners and don't know all the little tips and tricks that go along with home maintenance. Doing these few easy things can help save a lot o money, and I don't know anyone these days, who doesn't love saving money!
Below you will find a complete Home Energy Efficiency Checklist. This checklist helps homeowners optimize their energy consumption and reduce their energy bills. We designed this checklist as an easy-to-use guide for periodically examining your home to find energy- and money-wasting trouble spots. In addition, it also includes some preventative maintenance tips that will help you avoid problems before they happen.
Home Energy Efficiency Checklist
- Insulate the attic to R-38. If it is over R-30, go on to other items before adding additional insulation. R-30 is approximately 10 inches of fiberglass batt or cellulose.
- Attic vents need to be unobstructed and open to provide adequate air ventilation.
- Caulk electrical wire penetrations at the top of the interior walls and wires into ceiling fixtures.
- Insulate attic access door by attaching extruded (pink or blue) foam insulation to backside.
- Weather-strip attic access door.
- Seal around plumbing stack(s).
- Seal around the chimney using a high temperature sealant such as muffler cement and metal flashing where necessary.
- Seal all other holes between the heated/cooled space and the attic.
- Check weather-stripping on windows and doors.
- Install foam gasket on all wall outlets and switches, and use child safety plugs backed with gasket punch-outs to keep cold/hot air from coming through the sockets.
- Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.
- If you have a room air conditioner, remove it for the winter or seal it up and insulate it.
- When unable to replace an inefficient window, install plastic over the inside of the window. If you desire something more permanent than plastic, install an interior storm window.
- Replace broken glass and any loose caulking.
- Replace your old leaky windows. Use low expanding foam around the new window woodwork, caulk where the frame meets the wall and all other joints in the window woodwork with a clear sealant.
- Replace an old warped entry door with a new insulated door.
If you have a fireplace
- Check to make sure the damper is closed tightly when not in use.
- Install tight fitting glass doors and/or make a decorative insulated cover for it.
- Install a top sealing damper
- Provide outside air for combustion.
- Caulk around all penetrations such as telephone, cable, gas, dryer vents, electrical outlets, water faucets, etc.
- Caulk around window and door frames.
- Install storm windows on all single-glazed windows.
- Install storm doors where you have none.
- If you are re-siding, consider adding to 1 of extruded foam insulation with taped seams.
- Keep dryer vent screens lint free.
- If you have a floor over an unheated/uncooled space, such as a tucked-under garage, insulate the space between the floor and the garage to R-20 or greater.
Thank you, Paula for the helpful list!! Does anyone have any other tips to add??