Smart moves for a warmer home

Get a home energy audit

Getting a home energy audit rather than hiring an insulation pro as your first step means you’ll get an unbiased opinion of the work you need to do.

A home energy auditor should do the following:

  • --Ask what problems you’re experiencing.

  • --Review your utility bills and ask about your energy needs.

  • --Examine your home’s existing insulation by looking in the attic, basement, crawl space and behind electrical outlets to check for insulation in the exterior walls.

  • --Use a tool called a calibrated blower door to locate and quantify air leaks.

  • --Use infrared scanning to locate warm and cool spots.

Your gas or electric company may offer free home energy audits. If not, check the Residential Energy Services Network’s online directory.

Expect to pay $300 to $500 for this service.

While that may sound expensive, the rest of your investment in insulating your home may not pay off like you expect if you don’t know where your home’s weak spots lie.