Six Ways to Audit Your Home’s Energy Yourself
With winter settling in to stay for a while, you’re probably glad to turn on the heat and get your house cozy. At the same time, there’s no sense overpaying for electricity that’s just being wasted. Don’t lose money because of poor ventilation, old insulation or phantom load. Here are six steps you can take to help rein in your energy costs and stop tossing your money out the window.
1. Check Your Insulation.
Old or insufficient insulation is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to energy loss. If your home is older, the insulation probably isn’t up to today’s minimum standards for insulation.
It’s difficult to check your wall insulation, but there are other areas that you can examine. If you find bare spots, use foam insulation to fill them. Make sure you check the following, which should all be insulated:
- Attic and attic hatch.
- Basement walls or floor.
- Water heater.
2. Seal the Drafts.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing up your drafts could save you 10 to 20 percent on your energy bills. It’s definitely worth it to pinpoint your leaks. Once you find them, seal them with caulk and weather stripping. Check in the following places:
- Along door and window edges.
- Over your baseboards.
- Lighting fixtures.
- Electrical outlets.
- Around plumbing fixtures.
- At the edges of your floors.
3. Inspect Your HVAC System.
If you’ve been neglecting the maintenance for your HVAC system, now is the time to get caught up. On that subject, if your system is old, you might want to consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient one.
- Change the air filters.
- Check the pipes for any leaks.
- Dust and clean the air ducts.
- Add a programmable thermostat to control heat and cooling levels automatically.
4. Switch to Energy-Saving Bulbs.
Replacing the light bulbs in your house with long-lasting, energy-stingy bulbs like CFLs and LEDs will make an immediate impact on your monthly bill. LEDs were once expensive, but the price has dropped considerably, making them even more of a bargain.
- LEDs last for years. You don’t have to worry about changing them.
- Durable LEDs can be used outdoors as well as indoors.
- LEDs will fight right into the fixtures you already have.
5. Get Unplugged.
Phantom load and standby energy can add up to lots of wasted energy and money. One study found that the average American home has 40 devices that waste energy this way.
Cut down on phantom load by unplugging everything when it’s not in use. You can make this easy by installing power strips that connect two or more devices at a time.
- Unplug your coffee maker, microwave and toaster when they’re not in use.
- Unplug devices and remove their chargers from the wall once they’re fully charged.
- Shut down computers and tablets at night.
- Shut off and unplug everything when you go out of town.
6. Consider Energy-Saving Upgrades.
If you really want to make a dent in your energy use, consider upgrades that will work over the long haul.
Windows. New windows are manufactured with advanced insulation and energy-saving features. They may be expensive to buy and install at first, but they will save you money over the long run.
Doors. Installing new doors or storm doors can keep you safe, dry and well-insulated.
Appliances. If your appliances are old, they might be energy hogs. Upgrading to appliances that are EnergyStar-rated will help you save money over the long run.
Get a Professional Energy Audit.
The steps outlined here can help you start saving money right away. A professional energy audit can find the hidden sources of energy loss that you’re missing. An auditor can recommend upgrades and improvements that are in line with your budget.
SESCOS Can Help!
If you’re concerned about wasting energy and money, contact SESCOS and schedule a professional energy audit. Our knowledgeable technicians can inspect your house thoroughly and give you a workable plan to protect your house and your money. For all your electrical needs, call SESCOS today.