DIY Home Energy Audit


Category Building Shell - Windows
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Cracks/gaps around interior or exterior window frames

Borrow a thermal leak detector from a participating County Extension Office to detect air leaks and excessive heat loss/gain.

Drafts around closed window edges

Window panes single or ineffective insulators

Multiple major window energy inefficiencies

Major window inefficiencies include single and/or cracked panes, significant cracks/gaps around frames, and uncomfortable drafts from shut windows.

Window coverings let too much heat escape

Window coverings let too much heat in

Category Building Shell - Doors
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Gaps around door frames

Borrow a thermal leak detector from a participating County Extension Office to detect air leaks and excessive heat loss/gain.

Drafts around sides of closed doors

Drafts around bottoms of closed doors

Excessive heat loss/gain through door itself

Category Air Leaks - Other
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Fireplace drafty even after damper is closed

Borrow a thermal leak detector from a participating County Extension Office to detect air leaks and excessive heat loss/gain.

Switch/outlet plates on exterior walls hollow

These can be checked by unscrewing the switch or outlet plate. A foam gasket would be present directly behind the switch/outlet plate once removed.

Evaporative cooler or whole house fan uncovered when not in use

Recessed can lights not rated for insulation contact and airtightness (ICAT)

Other noticeable gaps in building shell

Other air leaks may be found in or around attic hatches, attics above dropped ceilings, and in common walls between an attached garage and the home.

Gaps around flues or chimney shafts

Gaps around plumbing or electrical penetrations, vents, wall- or window-mounted air conditioners, baseboards, and floor joist-to-foundation junctions

Category Insulation - Attic/Roof
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Attic hatch uninsulated

Fiberglass batt less than 15 inches

Looks like pink, yellow, or white blankets/rolls.

Loose fill fiberglass less than 19.5 inches

Looks like loose pink, yellow, or white fibers.

Loose fill cellulose less than 13 inches

Looks like loose gray, newspaper-like fibers.

Mineral wool less than 16 inches

Looks like dense gray, white, or speckled fibers.

Expanded polystyrene foam, foam board, or panels less than 11 inches

Looks like white foam/foam board or structurally insulated panels.

Extruded polystyrene foam, foam board, or panels less than 9 inches

Looks like pink or blue foam/foam board or structurally insulated panels.

Polyurethane/polyisocyanurate foam, foam board, or panels less than 7.5 inches

Looks like yellow or white foam/foam board or structurally insulated panels.

Other type of insulation present

Warning: vermiculite looks like tiny gravel granules and may contain asbestos. Do not touch this material and call a professional for assistance.

Category Insulation - Other
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Floor insulation less than R-25

If over unheated, uninsulated space.

Exterior wall insulation less than R-18

Turn off electric power to exterior wall outlets, remove outlet cover, and feel for insulation with pencil or similar. Otherwise, drill a hole through the wall in an inconspicuous location. To judge the insulation of walls throughout the entire home, a professional energy audit is required.

Crawlspace wall insulation less than R-19

If crawlspace is unvented and the floor above the crawlspace is uninsulated.

Basement wall insulation less than R-11

Pipes are uninsulated

Ducts not properly sealed and/or insulated

Ducts should be sealed with liquid mastic - not duct tape - at all joints, seams, and attachments. For reference, older mastic can look like gray peanut butter. Also note that sealing and insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces where pipes are present can result in frozen pipes. Insulating the ducts, pipes, and the unconditioned space itself is recommended in this situation.

Category Heating and Cooling
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Solar heat not let in through open window coverings in cold months

Windows not open to allow cool air in and closed to keep warm air out in summer

Vents, baseboards, radiators, space heaters blocked

Furnace filter dirty/not cleaned or replaced every 1-3 months when heating

Furnace or boiler less than 90% AFUE

AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and can be found on the heating unit label.

Evaporative cooler not cared for regularly/properly maintained

Air conditioner not cared for regularly/properly maintained

Air conditioner inefficient/expensive to operate

Thermostat not used for energy savings

No thermostat installed

Category Water Heating
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Water temperature greater than 120 degrees

Water temperature should be measured at the faucet closest to the water heater as the temperature dials on the heater aren't always reliable.

Dishwasher not run when full

Clothes washer run on hot

Showerheads emit greater than 2 gallons per minute

The most accurate way to measure flow is to run shower water into a 5 gallon bucket for 1 minute and measure the amount.

Electric storage water heater hot to the touch

Gas storage water heater hot to the touch

Water heater inefficient

Efficient gas storage heaters have Energy Factors of 0.65 or more; efficient electric storage heaters have Energy Factors of 0.9 or more.

Category Lighting
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Incandescent or halogen bulbs in use

T12 lamps and magnetic ballast in use

T12 bulbs are linear tubes (not compact), are usually found in a fixture attached to a ceiling surface or in a ceiling panel, and are 1.5 inches in diameter.  Magnetic ballasts can be detected by borrowing a “flicker checker” from a participating County Extension office.

Category Appliances
Possible Condition Rating Tooltip Notes

Refrigerator temperature less than 38 F

Freezer temperature less than 0 F

Refrigerator coils dirty/dusty

Phantom loads present

A phantom load is electricity used by appliances even after they're turned off. They are present in appliances that remain lit when off, that have external power adapters, and that are controlled by remotes. Phantom loads can be measured by power monitors available on loan at many libraries and Extension offices.

Appliances and electronics over 15 years old/not Energy Star