Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

How to Conduct Energy Tests at Home

If you want to lower your energy consumption and monthly utility bills, a good way to start is by conducting some energy tests and taking steps to eliminate waste. Here are a few of the most common areas where energy waste occurs, along with suggestions on how you can get it under control.

Air Leaks

Air leaks in the envelope can add as much as 20 percent to your annual household energy usage. You can reduce this by finding and sealing leaks with weatherstripping, caulk or expandable insulating foam. Common leakage points indoors include electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls, wall and ceiling junctures and along baseboards. Outside, you can find them where building components meet, along with the foundation, around doors and windows and penetrations for pipes, vents, and wiring.

Phantom Loads

Household devices that have indicator lights, remotes, digital clocks and power cords with AC adapters keep draining energy even when they’re not in use. To curb this waste, plug any such items into power strips so you can shut them down completely in between uses.


Heat transfer between your living areas and unfinished attic can cause significant energy losses. You can limit this by locating and sealing any openings between the two levels, putting down a vapor barrier on the attic floor, then insulating to R-38 between the joists. Insulate and weatherstrip the access hatch too, and make sure it closes tightly.


Ductwork that’s leaky, damaged, uninsulated, or in overall poor condition can waste up to a third of conditioned air produced by the HVAC system. You can learn whether your ductwork needs repairs, sealing and insulating by inspecting any accessible sections in the attic or garage or crawlspace.

Book an Energy Audit

An energy audit can give you an in-depth look at the state of your home’s efficiency. Audits include tests like a blower door and thermographic scan to pinpoint specific areas where making improvements can bring you the greatest energy-saving benefits.

Contact us at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air to learn more about conducting energy tests to boost efficiency in your San Diego home.