Home Insulation Inventory

Find problem areas in your home and fix them.

Hopefully you've already got your windows, doors, attic opening, and fireplace taken care of. That's a huge first step and will make the whole-house insulation check much easier. If not, go back to the Home Energy Checklist and start from the beginning!

The best time to look at your home insulation is on a cold or windy day. You can also conduct your own simple blower test to detect air leaks any time of the year.

The goal here is to get a list of any places where air is leaking or there is a big temperature difference.

You'll need:

  • sticks of incense to check for drafts (candles are just asking for trouble)
  • flashlight
  • a pencil and a list of places to check

Inside House (looking for air leaks or big temperature differences)

Walls

  • windows (if not already done)
  • interior walls
  • exterior walls (pipes entering house, gas/electrical service entrances, cable/phone lines entrances, cracks, holes, etc.)
    Electrical outlets and switch plates
    Around baseboards
  • where walls meet the ceiling

Other

  • dryer vent (see if there is a bigger difference inside the dryer versus inside the washing machine).
  • window/wall mounted AC units
  • foundation leaks, especially where the basement walls meet the house
  • vents and fans
  • fireplace

Attic

Outside House

  • window caulk: make sure it's not cracked or damaged
  • water faucets
  • exterior corners of house
  • juncture between where siding or brick meets the foundation
    chimney to wall

Unheated Basement, Garages, Crawl Space (if you have one)

  • Check temperature of floors above unheated spaces and compare to other floors.
  • Is there insulation on floor and rim joists?
  • Is there insulation around ducts and pipes?

When you're done with the home insulation inventory, you'll have a list of problem areas. Deal with the big problems first, then move on to the smaller ones. You can use the links on this page to help you make the fixes.