Every year millions of American’s try to heat and cool their environment; and no I’m not talking about living arrangements. Countless people around the world spend excess money on electricity but why pay more then you have to?
I have never heard of a home energy audit
The definition of a home energy audit or home energy assessment is “the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.” While one can pay someone to conduct an audit of this kind, it’s also just as easy to do it yourself.
Just because a home is built more recently does not mean it is energy efficient. Technology advances all the time and old techniques and equipment can easily become outdated. Every house has the ability to save money and become more efficient. Don’t believe that because your bills seem low or you “aren’t paying that much,” that your residence isn’t costing you more money than it should.
I’m not trying to cool down my backyard
Air leaks are a very common cause of energy usage. Up to 30% energy savings can be achieved by filling these pesky holes. Air leaks can essentially exist anywhere on your property. Check A/C lines to make sure there aren’t any tears or poor connections. Doors and windows are often money wasting culprits. Check around doors to make sure you can’t see any physical light coming through because if you can, you better believe you’re wasting your energy.
To combat poor seals, rubber door linings can be purchased at any hardware store; they simply go around the outside of your door and help create a better seal. Most times you don’t notice any physical or visual difference. Check anywhere that two different materials meet because different building materials connect and conserve energy differently. Of course, seal any leaks that you may find.
Don’t forget about the attic
A common cause of energy loss is through insufficient attic insulation. Insulation helps protect your cool indoor rooms from the harsh elements of the outside world. Make sure insulation in your attic adequately covers the entire area. There shouldn’t be any barren areas, but there also shouldn’t be covered vents or chimneys. If your attic door is located inside the house, make sure the steps have insulation or at least as much insulation as the rest of the attic. Chances are, if you own an older house, you don’t have enough. Builders construct houses to comply with code, unfortunately technology and the cost of living is also changing and every year requirements generally increase.
Check the walls
Checking the insulation inside your walls is a much more difficult task. The easiest technique involves taking off a wall socket or outlet and checking for insulation behind it. (Make sure to turn off the circuit breaker so you don’t injure yourself) A small hole somewhere else in the home also works, either behind a bed or a bureau. Ideally there should be insulation anywhere you check. To get a full reading of your walls you can utilize professional services that do a thermographic inspection. This will determine whether all of your walls are adequately insulated.
I can’t see
Lighting can have a large affect on ones wallet. In the average household, energy bills due to lighting equate to about 10% of all electrical expenses. Examine bulbs and replace with more efficient bulbs when possible. LED’s and compact fluorescent lamps are great alternatives to traditional bulbs.
Honestly, anything that utilizes power can be checked and possibly made more efficient. Checking appliances can determine if they are working properly and possibly save you money. Home audits can often be conducted by the resident and are fairly easy to complete. Audits should be done at least once a year and over the long run can save thousands of dollars. Taking an hour out of your year can prove to be a great return on investment.
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Josh McCarthy is from Orlando,Florida. He is a finance major at the University of Central Florida and enjoys trading stock options. He enjoys all athletics and is trying to make money for an engagement ring. Josh is a content writer and blogger for FacemyerAC.com.