Energy Audits For Your Home

With unemployment at a very high level, people are scrambling to save money in any way they can.  One change you can make it to get an energy audit — an assessment of your home’s energy consumption and identifying problem areas to help make your home more energy efficient.  You can perform the audit yourself or have a professional service do the job.  Either way, this detailed examination will save you an abundance of money over time.

To do the energy audit yourself, a comprehensive checklist will, no doubt, save you money.  Some of the items on the checklist should include:

·         Air Leaks (electrical outlets, switch plates, mail slots, window frames, weather strips around doors, fire-place dampers)

·         Insulation (Heat and air conditioning loss through ceilings and walls)

·         Make sure your air conditioning and heating units are kept in tip top shape.  Having an annual tune-up service will allow the units to work more efficiently and thus save you bundles

·         Be sure to change your incandescent bulbs to the  Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)

For a detailed checklist, visit, http://www.mcgill.ca/files/mse/Guidelines_on_Energy_Audit_Simplified_Version.pdf or http://www.nicor.com/en_us/commercial/planning_needs/build_strategy/energy_audit.htm

For a more thorough energy audit, have a professional service come into your home.  Unlike the do-it-yourself audit, the professional service will use special equipment to get a more inclusive result of your home’s energy efficiency—or lack thereof.  Energy Audit Directory  is an easy to use site.  Contacting your local utility company is another good bet; they may even offer a discount or do the service for free.

By making an Earth Promise to change a handful of things in your home, you are committing to making your home more energy efficient.  Here are some first steps you can make:

To keep the fireplace damper closed unless I am making a fire. An open damper can let an average of 8% of heat in your home escape.  The summer months, cool air escapes as well causing your electric bill to rise.

To wrap the water heater in an insulation blanket to store heat. This can save a whopping 25% on your electric bill.

To replace regular windows with double-paned windows. This keeps more heat inside your home, thus saving you money.

To plant trees around my home to create shade.  Once the trees are large enough, it will reduce the need for air-conditioning.

 

Become an Earth Promise member and track the energy auditing changes you can make.

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1 Comment »

  1. Good post and recommendations. It’s important to get the right audit–accurate and actionable. For a bit more background and additional links and resources, follow my post at http://greenhomesamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/home-energy-audits-2/

    Thanks,
    Mike

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