If you could access a map that would show you the most inefficient locations throughout your home, would you want it? Well, you can create your own home map with a home energy audit. And once you know where your home is losing energy, you can make low-cost improvements that will significantly boost your energy-savings potential all year long.

You’ll need to perform a two-step process to locate air leaks, because some leaks will be clearly visible, while others are hidden and will require more effort to locate.

First, visually inspect your home for leaks, looking primarily along the home’s exterior shell, or the outer walls. Other common areas where leaks tend to occur are around window frames, doors, electrical outlets, plumbing pipes or wiring. Don’t forget to check the attic hatch, too, and any ducts that penetrate through walls or ceilings.

Next, you’ll need to conduct a test to locate hidden leaks. To find them, your home will need to be depressurized, because a lower pressure will draw outside air in, creating air movement that you need to find leaks.

To depressurize your home, close all windows and doors in your home; if you have a fireplace, close the flue. Then, you should turn on exhaust fans in the bathrooms, kitchen exhaust fan and clothes dryer. This process will exhaust the air within your home, drawing fresh outdoor air into the home through any air leaks that may be present.

The next step is to light an incense stick. Its smoke will show you where air leaks exist, as you move the stick slowly alongside common trouble spots listed above.

Most air leaks are easily fixed using caulk or weatherstripping, both of which you can purchase at a home improvement store.

Conducting a home energy audit can lead to real savings, as Energy Savers estimate that homeowners can often save as much as 30 percent a year as a result of making improvements. If you’d like some help, give the experts at Acosta Heating & Cooling a call today. We’ve been serving the greater Charlotte area as a local, family-owned company since 1972.