Warmer Inside Than Out!

Over the past week I’ve noticed several times that our house is significantly warmer inside than it is outside. So much so that I’ve checked a few times to see if the heat was on. Each time our programmable thermostat was set to be much cooler than it actually was in the house (indicating the heat was not on). I have to attribute this to our new air sealing and insulation work. Over the next several weeks Jon and I will post a series of blogs talking about the work we had done and lessons learned. For now I’ll point you to an excellent first step:

Have a Home Energy Audit!

blown in cellulose insulation in an attic with some loose wires

Our attic during the energy audit

There are many things that everyone can, and should, do, and we will blog about those things. However, each building is unique and the best way to decide which large investment items should be done on your house is to have a home energy auditor look at your home.

If you live in Massachusetts you may be eligible for a free home energy audit – most homeowners are. If you live in a building with 4 or fewer units and your gas (or electricity if you heat with oil, electricity or propane) is from a major utility company then you should be eligible for a MassSave audit: Go to http://www.masssave.com/ to check and see if you are eligible.

I haven’t yet done research on home energy audit programs in other states, but if you’re familiar with a program in your area, please post a comment with some information to help others who want to get started. Jon has also posted an entry on incentives available for home energy improvements.

The auditor will help you determine what the next big steps for reducing your energy usage should be. Usually these involve air sealing (sealing tiny spaces where air flows through your house) and then insulating. They can help you determine if you would benefit from doing a system upgrade to your heating or hot water system, but these are typically done after you air seal and insulate.

Our audit was filmed for the Energy Smackdown, so you can see some clips from our audit here (3:50 long):

Coming soon: The Audit Experience

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  1. Heh, I just went there to see if I can get an audit. No luck, gotta go through my town’s electric company instead. Oh well, something else to work on down the line.

    Did they do an Infrared scan to look for heat loss leaks, etc?


  2. Hi John,

    I’m going to assume you are in Massachusetts if you went to the MassSave.org site. You must be in one of the towns with municipal utilities. I definitely recommend talking to your town’s electric company. If they don’t have an audit program in place, and they are willing to talk about starting one, you may want to refer them to Next Step Living. This is a private company that does home audits that I’ve worked with both on my seminar series and we’ve had them to do work on our home. They have done a pilot program with the City of Boston to do city-funded audits and they have been working with some of the utilities as well. If you decide to hire them privately, we can send you a referral code.


  3. Way to totally miss the mark! This started as a “inside hotter than outside” column, then switch to a pitch for a process that, while good at saving energy for a system that’s always on, is actually making the current problem worse.

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