Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

View Video

Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

View Slideshow

Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

See More

DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

View Slideshow

Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

View Slideshow

8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

View Video

Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

View Video
Popular in Home Improvement

Home Performance Energy Audit

Learn how to identify energy problem areas and point to solutions with a home performance energy audit.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Making a Difference

      Saving hundreds of dollars thanks to an energy audit at their last home, Kerry and Brian Hogg were eager to do it again when they moved. But saving money isn't all they care about. "Looking at our energy use at home is one way we can make a difference," Brian says.

    • Blower-Door Test

      The first step in a home performance energy audit is to insert a device called a blower door into an exterior doorframe. When the fan is turned on, the auditor measures airflow to determine how tight the house is. After improvements are made, the test is repeated to determine the effectiveness of any changes.

    • How It Works

      A fan blows air out of the house, creating a negative pressure inside. The blower door test reveals air leaks in the envelope of the home, often hidden behind insulation. Sealing the leaks makes a home more comfortable, healthier, and more energy efficient.

    • Thermal Imaging

      Another instrument used in a home performance energy audit is a thermal scanner. This infrared device provides a visual representation of hot and cold spots wherever it is pointed. Viewing the handheld screen aids the auditor in identifying problem areas that can often be addressed in the improvement phase.

    • Visual Inspection

      An energy audit is not all high-tech. Here, a visual inspection reveals a chimney damper left partly open to vent fumes from the pilot light of this gas-log fireplace. Installing a glass door and keeping it closed will help prevent heated air from going up the chimney.

    • Sealing Supply Ducts

      A big part of an energy audit is examining the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Here, the supply ducts in the bathroom and bedroom aren't adequately sealed, letting in air through the house overhang. Caulking the supply boot (the gap between the heating supply duct and the subfloor) will prevent this leakage.

    • Cold-Air Return

      The auditor found large leaks at the duct trunk and floor framing above the furnace. Sealing with mastic, expanding foam, caulk, or tape will make these joints airtight. The result will be a more even distribution of conditioned air throughout the house.

    • Gaps in Construction

      Gaps and cracks between construction materials have their origin either at the time of construction or as the result of settling. Here, the sill plate and the foundation wall cause air leakage and heat loss. Expanding foam will effectively plug the gaps.

    • Attic Access

      A little thing such as an uninsulated attic access door produces an enormous amount of heat loss. Insulating and weather-stripping the door will solve the problem.

    • 10 of 13

      Checking Under Insulation

      It is important to pull back the insulation to check for air leaks wherever dissimilar construction materials come together. Here, the floor insulation in the attic is adequate, but some gaps exist between framing and drywall. Expanding foam will fill these gaps.

    • 11 of 13

      Insulating Wire Pathways

      Holes to accommodate wires through exterior walls allow air loss. Expanding foam squirted into the holes will easily solve the air leakage problem.

    • 12 of 13

      For More Information

      To find an Energy Star auditor, call 1-888-STAR-YES or go online to An auditor will also evaluate the performance of your heating and cooling system.

    • 13 of 13
      Next Slideshow Smart Ideas for Saving Energy & Money

      Smart Ideas for Saving Energy & Money

      Consider these steps to cut your home's energy consumption, keep utility bills low, and lead a more efficient lifestyle.
      Begin Slideshow »



    Loading... Please wait...