There are lots of things homeowners can do to winterize their homes. Because the house is a system and each component of the home - building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, appliances and other systems of the home—affects the performance of other parts, BPI recommends homeowners start with an energy audit –or home performance assessment—before they make changes. They should hire professionals that are BPI certified because BPI certified pros are trained to understand how changing one system in the home affects other parts. See www.bpi.org/homeowners.aspx for more information.

  1. Audits don’t have to be expensive. There are many utility, state and local govt programs that subsidize energy audits and energy upgrade work. Go to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency and click on your state to find utility incentive or rebate programs, tax credits, and loan programs to help you make your home more energy efficient.
  2. Energy auditors use specialist diagnostic tools—such as a blower door and perhaps an infrared camera—that are not likely to be found in the average do-it-yourself homeowner’s kit. They assess the air leakage in the home’s building envelope, as well as health and safety concerns, such as mold, mildew, gas leaks from appliances and CO testing. From this information, they develop an audit report that prioritizes improvements in your home based on most cost effective to least cost effective.
  3. The auditor will be able to tell you what you can tackle yourself and what you may need a professional to do.
  4. 4.      Storm doors and windows – Installing storm doors and windows reduces drafts and airflow.
  5. Caulk/weatherstrip - Many homeowners can caulk and weather-strip around their windows and doors,  around chimneys and where pipes or wires exit the home.
  6. Furnace filter - Check and change the filter on your furnace or HVAC system once a month, especially during heating season. Clogged filters force an HVAC system to work harder, reducing equipment life.
  7. Give your heating system a tune-up – Hire a qualified contractor to keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted, increasing its efficiency.
  8. Install a programmable thermostat that automatically turns the heat down during parts of the day when you don’t need it.
  9. Turn down your water heater  - Most water heaters don’t need to be set at the installer’s temperature. Turn it down to 120 degrees or more to save on water heating costs.
  10. Lightbulbs - Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescents or LED bulbs, both of which use less energy to produce the same amount of light.
  11. Laundry - Switch to cold water wash for laundry. Heating water represents about 15 percent of a typical home energy bill.

For larger improvements, such as installing insulation in your attic and basement and around your pipes, sealing ductwork and thoroughly air sealing the building envelope of your home, we recommend hiring BPI certified professionals to complete this work and test to make sure improvements are working as they should and that the home’s mechanical ventilation is working properly.

Go to www.bpi.org/homeowners.aspx   for more information.

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when will there be home audit in my neighborhood for better home saving on energy.

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