Home Energy Efficiency Checklist
How efficient is your home? Are you aware that there are a number of easy inexpensive do it yourself projects that will reduce your cooling and heating costs and also make your home a healthier more comfortable place to live? A new heating or cooling unit will not make your house more efficient. The only way to reduce your heating and cooling requirements is to tighten up the structure itself.
Attic 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.
Main Level • 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.
Exterior 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.
Miscellaneous • 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.