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Blog | Energy Efficiency | Home energy audits: a how-to guide for consumers

Home energy audits: a how-to guide for consumers

September 1st, 2009

(NC)—With the holidays and colder months just around the corner, now is the time to find easy ways to save money. Performing a simple home energy audit can help cut costs by pinpointing the places where a house is losing energy, identifying ways to conserve hot water and electricity, and evaluating the efficiency of the home’s appliances and heating and cooling systems.

Sue Rainville, director of marketing for Hunter Douglas, Canada’s leading manufacturer of custom window fashions, offers the following steps for consumers to conduct a home energy audit:

Locate that leak

Window frames and doors are obvious sources of drafts. Check electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, fireplace dampers and wall or window-mounted air conditioners for spaces. Look for gaps around pipes, faucets and mail slots. Apply caulking and weather stripping where needed.

Look to your furnishings

“Windows are rightly called the ‘eyes’ of a home, yet they are also energy holes through which heat can escape,” said Rainville. Help protect your home with shades such as Duette Architella honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas that can reduce heat loss at the window by up to 50 percent when properly installed.

Attics and basements

In cold weather, air leaks in the attic act like a chimney, drafting expensive heated air upwards and sucking cold air into the rest of the home. Large gaps are also often found around plumbing pipes, light fixtures, chimneys and soffits. Ensure openings for items such as pipes, ductwork and chimneys are sealed with expanding foam caulk.

Step outside

Insulation needs to work both inside and out. Check areas where two different construction materials meet, such as the foundation and the exterior brick or siding. Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation and siding, and seal them with the appropriate material.

Using these tips, consumers can learn how to conduct a home energy audit on their own, just in time for those cold winter months.

More information is available online at www.hunterdouglas.ca or toll-free at 1-800-265-8000.

– News Canada

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