Short of having a lengthy professional home energy audit done on your home, you can examine some key areas to see where the house might be losing energy. Discovering these pitfalls and working with a professional to fix them can save you significant money. Start at the top. Get in the attic and check your insulation. Make sure there are no gaps and no air flowing through or around the insulation, especially near chimney openings and HVAC ducts. Check for water leakage and wiring safety.
Next, move to the main living areas. In kitchens and bathrooms, check vent fans to be sure the air flow is strong enough to do the job. If not, replace the fans with ones that can. Check for excess water vapor or any water leakage – these are signs that something isn’t tight enough or strong enough to accomplish its purpose. Examine windows and doors for any air flow or condensation. They should be sealed properly to keep the heat inside in the winter months and outside in the summer months. Check for air leaks around outlets and fixtures, as well.
Finally, in the basement, change your furnace filters and have the blower cleaned. Check your dryer venting and your home’s duct system for any back drafts or leaks. Inspect your water heater for temperature setting and insulation.
You may find some issues upon inspecting your home for energy efficiency. Simple ones can be corrected on your own. But your best bet is to contact your HVAC professional. He can help you determine the best course of action where your heating and cooling systems are concerned, and refer you to other professionals who can help you seal windows and doors or safely correct electrical needs.