A Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit

Mar 17, 2009

You are wondering if your home is energy efficient. Are you running your household furnace, hot water heater, appliances, among other energy consuming items in your home as efficiently as possible?  Doing an energy audit will not only improve your home’s efficiency but will also save you money, make your home more comfortable and reduce your carbon-footprint.

There are several websites that you can go to for assistance including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Center. You can also consult a professional through your local utility company, which may offer audits for free or at a discounted rate. Or consult the ENERGY STAR website to find a Home Energy Rater.

Places to look at when doing an energy audit are:

  • Locate areas where air leaks may occur around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and baseboards.
  • Check your water heater – inspect the pipes around your tank and make sure they are insulated.
  • Evaluate how efficient your heating ventilation and air conditioning system is working. Check for leaky air ducts, install a programmable thermostat, have your ducts be examined by a professional.
  • Consider replacing your old light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Compact fluorescents use approximately one-fifth the energy of a typical light bulb and lasts up to ten times longer.
  • If your refrigerator is older examine it for leaky door seals.  If cold air is leaking out it’s a good idea to replace them. A modern ENERGY STAR refrigerator can use up to 40 percent less energy than those made seven years ago.
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