Start Saving Money with a Home Energy Audit
By NOPEC on May 23, 2022
As a homeowner, utility bills make up a big chunk of your monthly budget. Finding ways to decrease those expenses can provide much needed savings. A home energy audit allows you to assess your home’s energy use and identify areas where you can improve its efficiency. Not only will a home energy audit increase your comfort, it also can increase the lifespan of your home’s HVAC system and appliances, which will save you money in the long run.
Depending on your budget, you can choose to hire a professional auditor or do it yourself (DIY). While the high-tech equipment and infrared cameras used by pros can provide greater detail on potential improvements, as well as energy efficiency upgrades, DIY audits aren’t a bad place to start.
One of the simplest things you can do when auditing your home is to look for energy wasters. Energy wasters use energy inefficiently. Some energy wasters involve changing your habits while others require upgrades or maintenance. Here are some common energy wasters that contribute to increased utility bills and what you can do about them.
A simple way to test for air leaks is to put your hand up to windows, doors, electrical outlets and light switches on exterior walls to see if you feel any air coming through. This can be especially effective on a cold day when you’ll feel a cool draft. After locating air leaks, make sure to seal them with caulk, weather stripping or insulation.
Even when electronics are turned off, they still draw power. Printers, speakers, microwaves, toasters, DVD players and game consoles should be unplugged once you’re finished using them. Turn off lights when you leave a room and make sure your computer is completely turned off and not in ‘sleep’ mode when you’re done working for the day.
While it’s great that your 20-year-old refrigerator still runs, it’s probably costing you more money in energy usage. Many states have tax credits, rebate programs and incentives that encourage homeowners to switch to energy efficient appliances.
If your home isn’t properly insulated, you could be losing large amounts of energy. The insulation level for your home depends on when it was built. The builder probably used the recommended level for the time, but those levels may have changed as your home aged. If you aren’t sure of the recommended insulation level for your area, ENERGY STAR can help. After determining your appropriate insulation level, follow these instructions for measuring or fixing them if needed.
Ready to take the next step?
Once you complete your assessment, decide which projects you want to tackle first. You may want to call a pro to complete a more thorough assessment to help you determine which fixes will save you the most money in the long run. Some utility companies offer complimentary or reduced cost home energy audits to their customers. Check with your utility provider to find out more about their audit programs.
Want to learn more about saving energy and money? Sign up for NOPEC’s Energy Savings Center for energy tips, home maintenance reminders, and chances to win smart home technology.
Tags: Energy Tips, Energy Efficiency, Home Energy Audit
Categories: Energy Efficiency