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Easy Ways to Test the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

By NOPEC on  October 25, 2019

From the grocery store to our monthly utility bills, we're all looking for ways to save money. And part of saving money is understanding when and how we are wasting it. And part of saving money is understanding when and how we are wasting it. Unfortunately, one of the biggest sources of money loss comes from energy waste in our homes.

Did you know that you can save 5 to 30% on your monthly energy bills with energy-efficient home upgrades found through a home energy audit?

Professional home energy efficiency audit services can run hundreds of dollars. But with these simple, easy ways to test the energy efficiency of your home, you can be on your way to identifying expensive energy wasters in your home. And on your way to saving more money.

Windows and Doors

With a professional home energy audit, one of the essential tests they'll do is a Blower Door Test. It measures airtightness throughout your home. Unfortunately, this test is expensive and cost-prohibitive for many homeowners.

But you can perform a basic, easy test for any problem areas that may be leaking large amounts of air with an incense stick. Simply light the stick, blow it out and move your stick near potential air-leaking areas like windows, doors, outlets and attic hatches. Watch for any disturbances in the natural movement of the smoke, identify the problem areas and seal appropriately.

Large Appliances 

Appliances like your refrigerator and water heater are sometimes hungry energy monsters. But you can perform a quick DIY home energy audit on them for little to no money.

To check the seals on your refrigerator, simply close the door with a dollar bill between the seal and the door. If you feel resistance when you remove the bill, your seal is good. But if it slides out easily, your refrigerator seal might need to be cleaned or replaced.

Older water heaters are insulated with fiberglass instead of foam, making them more prone to heat loss. An easy way to test the energy efficiency of your water heater is to simply touch it. If it feels
warm to the touch, you are probably losing heat through it and, therefore, wasting money that you spent to warm the water in the first place!

Bill Comparison

Of course, one of the easiest ways to test your home's energy efficiency is just by comparing your monthly energy bills. Most utility bills have month-to-month comparisons, letting you see how much more or less you're using each month. And some bills also outline the yearly comparisons, showing you the amount you paid last year during the same month. If they don't have this feature, many energy companies let you compare yearly usage online.

If you do notice a large difference in your energy bill, it may mean you have a problem. For example, if your electric bill is unusually and inexplicably high, you may have something called a phantom load. An easy way to test your electrical devices for phantom loads is with a Kill A Watt energy usage monitor.

Identifying your home's energy weak links can be expensive and frustrating. But with consistent monitoring and occasional testing of your home's energy efficiency, you can spot any major energy
issues and reduce their impact on your energy-efficient home and on your wallet.

Do you like these tips? Subscribe to our Energy Connection newsletter for more ways to save money by optimizing your home energy efficiency. 



Tags: NOPEC, Energy Efficiency
Categories: Energy Efficiency

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