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My Energy Journey – Week 4

By Mary Ripley on  August 10, 2017

A home energy audit, sometimes also called a home energy assessment, allows you to measure and review your home’s energy usage. You can do your own mini assessment or you can have an HVAC contractor perform the audit, which is normally done for a fee. The U.S. Department of Energy gives a great explanation of what occurs during the audit:

“Before the energy auditor visits your house, make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms. Have copies or a summary of the home’s yearly energy bills. (Your utility can get these for you.) Auditors use this information to establish what to look for during the audit. The auditor first examines the outside of the home to determine the size of the house and its features (i.e., wall area, number and size of windows). The auditor then will analyze the residents’ behavior:

    • – Is anyone home during working hours?
    • – What is the average thermostat setting for summer and winter?
    • – How many people live here?
    • – Is every room in use?” (

Next, let’s look at the US Energy Information Administration, AEO2014 Early Release Overview:

Energy Usage

How We Use Energy in Our Homes. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, AEO2014 Early Release Overview.

Yikes! Replacing our light bulbs was just a little piece of that pie, but it was a good way to start our energy journey. From the chart, we can see that almost 50% of energy use is just for heating (42%) and cooling (6%), so it’s time to shift our focus to finding a solution that’ll help us save more energy AND money!

The smartest investment and the best payback is to purchase (and install!) a programmable thermostat. Buying a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature when you are away and program it to be at a comfortable temperature when you get home. These thermostats are available at all retail stores.

Doing a home energy audit is honestly one of the best ways to discover new methods and products that’ll help you save money, which everyone loves to do.


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