Houston Home Energy Audit: Finding Energy Leaks in Your Home

Some of Houston’s neighborhoods have gorgeous older homes (subdivisions like the Houston HeightsCherryhurst and Southgate).  These areas have a great sense of community, lovely lawns and gardens and have appreciated at some of the best rates in the city with their local flair for historic preservation.

Unfortunately, many of the homes in these historic communities will have a number of energy leaks that not only cost the homeowner more money in utility bills but aren’t as environmentally friendly as they could be.

Following are some tips and suggestions to help reduce your home’s energy costs:

  • Get an energy audit.  They typically take about two and a half hours and cost around $250-$400.  They can pay for themselves with a few quick fixes.
  • The biggest culprits of energy loss include construction shortcuts like
    • Improperly insulated attics
    • Missing external home wrap around joists between walls and floors
    • Improperly insulated basements and crawl spaces.
  • Homes that are over 35 years old are typically much less efficient than newer homes (that are built to more current building code standards).
  • Make sure that places where pipes and wires come into the house are sealed well – this is another big source of energy loss.
  • Another hot spot is the area where recessed lights are mounted.  Make sure they are sealed properly around the edges.
  • One of the most important steps of an energy audit include the “blower-door” test.  This includes sealing the front door opening with an airtight tarp penetrated by a large fan.  The movement from the fan then will depressurize the home by sucking out the air and pull in air from outsite.  This way the auditor can tell what areas in the home have the biggest leaks.

For recommendations on energy auditors in Houston, please contact me.  For additional good “going green” tips, one of my favorite blogs is http://www.green-talk.com.  Please let me know if you know of other blogs with good tips and suggestions.  Thanks!

 

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