Weatherizing 4 - Audit Weatherizing 4 - Audit
Margin of Error: Not applicable
The first step in weatherizing your home is to gather information. Begin by checking each exterior door for the following most probable leaks:
1. Are there any noticeable cracks at areas where the door meets the frame?
2. Is there space at the joint between the frame and the interior and exterior walls of the house?
3. Is there a gap at the bottom of the door at the threshold?
4. Is there space between the base of the threshold and the floor underneath?
5. If your door has glass panes, are they properly glazed? Or is the glazing old and cracked or missing entirely?
6. Are any of the panes cracked or broken?
7. If the doors have existing weatherstripping, does it need replacement?
8. Does your home have adequate storm doors? And are they properly hung and caulked?
Taking the same approach to interior doors can't hurt either. Keeping them properly sealed helps reduce room-to-room infiltration and makes it possible to control more precisely the heating and cooling of individual rooms.
Next take stock of all the windows:
- Any moving parts that allow air to leak?
- Gaps or flaws in construction around the frame?
- Is the glazing compound around the glass old and cracked or missing entirely.)
- Are the seams around the window trim caulked?
- If weatherstripping exists, is it in need of replacement?
- Do the window panes that are cracked or broken need to be replaced?
- Are the windows that are not covered with draperies, shades, or blinds offering insulative value?
- Are storm windows installed? And are they properly fitted and caulked, to eliminate gaps where the window meets the framing?
Once you have covered all the conventional openings to your home, begin looking for other, not so obvious ones. Are there any air leaks around:
- Foundation cracks or cracks in basement walls?
- Separations between any two materials of the house construction, like an exterior chimney, and the house?
- Utility pipes?
- Phone and electric cable lines?
- Mail slot?
- Clothes dryer vent?
- Outside light connections?
- TV antenna entry?
- Electrical outlets?
- Cracks and splits in siding?
- Gaps or loose mortar between block, bricks, or stone facing?
- Air ducts for heating/cooling system?
- Improper insulation around window air-conditioning units?
- Leaking basement windows?
- Exposed roofing nails?
- Roof flashing?
- Split or loose roof shingles?
- Poor drainage around the house?
- Damaged, blocked, or poorly connected downspouts?
- Garage doors?
- Adequate ventilation in any bathroom without a window to the outside?
- Adequate ventilation in kitchen using a stove or range hood?
Simple Maintenance Tips
Energy leaks from your home in ways other than through openings. How do you rate on energy conservation?
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- Is your furnace properly cleaned and tuned for maximum efficiency? Is the air filter clean?
- Have you checked your air-conditioning filter?
- Have you checked the range filter?
- Do you regularly look for dirty or blocked heating/cooling registers?
- Do you set your thermostat too high in winter and too low in summer?
- Do you turn your thermostat down when you are at work or otherwise out of the house?
- Is the thermostat broken, worn, or dirty? Consider installing a programmable thermostat when you replace it.
- Is your thermostat properly located? An improperly located thermostat (too near a heat or cold source or on an outside wall) can waste a lot of energy.
- Do you seasonally check for leaks in heating and cooling ducts?
- Is your hot water heater set at an efficient temperature?
- Is the hot water heater malfunctioning in any way?
- Are you heating cooling unused or seldom used rooms?
- Have you insulated your hot and cold water pipes and heating and air-conditioning ducts?
- Do you turn the hot water heater off and extinguish other pilot lights when you go away on vacation?