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S20 E32: Electrical Tools, Energy Audit

Watch as Heath demonstrates using common electrical tools. Later, Ross conducts an in-depth home energy assessment, and Mauro shares one of his favorite painting tips.

Previous episode: S20 E31 | Next episode: S20 E33

In this episode:

Master electrician Heath Eastman explains the hand tools every homeowner should have in their DIY electrical kit. Heath shows us the voltage testers, special screwdrivers, pliers, and wire strippers that most homeowners should keep on hand, and even shows us how to use them on a basic home electrical repair.

Next, we join home technology expert Ross Trethewey on a house call to help a homeowner figure out their energy loss. After discussing their energy consumption concerns, Ross suggests a home energy assessment and gets to work.

Ross first assesses the home from the outside, looking for leaks and water issues. After that, he heads inside the home for an in-depth audit. He measures each room, notes the details of the appliances, and checks for insulation. Finally, he hangs a negative pressure fan in the door and searches for air leaks before giving the homeowner a detailed report.

After that, we meet host Kevin O’Connor and paint expert Mauro Henrique to talk about cutting in without painter’s tape. After explaining that there is no shame in using painter’s tape, Mauro shows Kevin his preferred method for cutting in using a putty knife and paintbrush.

Tool Lab | Basic Electrical Tools

Master electrician Heath Eastman walks us through his favorite electrical hand tools that all DIYers should own.

Where to find it?

Heath explains what tools he uses and how he uses them when replacing an electrical receptacle. He shows the right way to use wire strippers to strip back the insulation jacket on wires. Then he uses needle-nose pliers to “hook” the end of the wire in order to wrap it around the terminal screw. Heath then uses a special torquing screwdriver to tighten the screw to the correct tension.

How to Conduct a Home Energy Assessment

Home technology expert Ross Trethewey shows a homeowner where her energy consumption is going, and how to save some money moving forward.

Where to find it?

Ross conducts a full home energy assessment. He recommends starting with walking the exterior of a home to visually inspect the siding, windows, and the roof.

  • Siding: What is the condition of the siding? Are there any gaps in the siding?
  • Windows: What kind of shape are the windows in?
  • Roof: What is the condition of the roof? Are any shingles missing? Is the attic vented or not?
  • Water: Is there any obvious water damage? Are there any signs of puddling? Are gutters/downspouts conveying water away from the building? When it comes to the exterior, you want to make sure there aren’t ways for water to get into the house.

For the interior walkthrough, Ross says to evaluate all major devices and systems. He also recommends checking for insulation and taking measurements (like the length, width, and ceiling height of rooms).

To identify where air leakage is occurring, Ross conducts a blower door test. A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, test ductwork airtightness, and help physically locate air leakage sites in the building envelope.

How to Paint a Straight Edge Without Tape

Paint expert Mauro Henrique shows host Kevin O’Connor how he paints a straight edge when tape just isn’t an option.

Original Air Date: June 2, 2022, Season 43; Ep. 32 23:42