Ever hear of death by a thousand cuts? That’s what’s probably happening to your wallet without you realizing it. Day after day, you are being silently slashed from many different places in your house, wasting energy that oozes out of your house from little cracks and holes.
Some of these ways you may know about–such as that chilly little air current you might feel on your feet as you pass by your front door. Some you probably don’t, such as heat that may escaping through your attic due to inadequate insulation.
Not only is this bad for your pocket, it’s also bad for the environment because of the higher fossil fuel usage that has to go into unnecessary home heating or cooling. So what to do about it?
Get a home energy audit, either a professional one or the “do it yourself” variety. An energy audit will assess how much energy your home uses and advise you on measures you can take to make to have a much more energy efficient home. Problems identified by the audit can, when fixed, result in saving you a large amount of money over time. Additionally, audits can gauge the efficiency of your cooling and heating systems, as well as suggest ways to conserve electricity.
The best option is to get a professional to do it for you, because a professional home energy audit is very detailed and uses specialized equipment. To find a professional energy auditor, check with your state or local government’s energy office for leads. Your power company may also offer the service or know of someone who does. In any case, be sure to check references and the Better Business Bureau to confirm the auditor’s reputation.
Doing your own audit essentially requires you to carefully go through your house, checking for any possible energy leaks and ensuring adequate insulation. You should also check that all your appliances are working properly and are not too old, that caulking around windows is not flaking or broken, that you are using energy-efficient bulbs, that air isn’t escaping under your doors, and so on.
Conducting a good energy audit will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the long haul as you come to save energy and use it much more efficiently. You will also greatly help the environment by lowering your use of fossil fuels.
Future installments will address in detail how to choose the right energy auditor, and provide a step by step guide for doing your own home energy audit. Stay tuned!
(First of a multi-part series.)