Another month has come and gone and that means another electric bill is due. A good majority of us are guilty of just scrolling our eyes down to the bottom of the statement, only looking at the total amount due. We write out the check and then go on to open another bill. But how many times have you actually analyzed your electric bill and assessed your energy use for the month? Do you know which rooms of your home use the most energy or the time of day your energy consumption is at its peak? To help you answer those questions, most electric companies offer an in-home energy audit to help you save energy.
Home energy audits can be performed by your electric company or by a professional energy auditor. During your home checkup, the auditor will inspect your attic’s insulation, furnace and duct work, as well as look for any leaks. A blower door test and infrared camera might also be used to establish any areas where the home has an unintentional air passageway. After the audit, the auditor will be able to determine where your house could be more efficient and what can be corrected to help you save energy and money.
After the energy audit, you will be more aware of where the majority of your energy consumption is going and how to make any necessary changes to be more efficient. These proposed changes are simply recommendations made by the auditor, and are not required. However, by making the suggested efficiency upgrades, you could save 5 to 30 percent on your monthly energy bill.
DIY Energy Assessment
If your energy company does not offer an energy auditing service or you do not want to pay for a professional, you can perform an energy assessment on your own. You can check for air leaks caused by gaps around windows, doors, lighting fixtures, and electrical outlets, in addition to inspecting the insulation in your attic. A home energy assessment is just the beginning of your energy savings journey, and whether performed by a professional or done by yourself, it can help you be more conscious of where the majority of your energy is being consumed.
Become Energy Efficient
So the next time you get your electric bill, take a look at your total energy consumption for the month. Consider contacting your electric company to see if an energy audit service is offered, and to identify how efficiently or inefficiently your home’s energy is being used.
Now that it’s getting colder and the holiday madness is approaching, here are some super simple ways to save energy that you can fit into your busy schedule. They’re quick, painless, and require no knowledge of anything remotely mechanical. If you’re handy with a caulk gun, go ahead and seal up those nooks and crannies around the windows. If you know your way around air filters and heating units, knock yourself out. But for the rest of us clueless souls, read on…
#1: Turn down your heat thermostat before you leave for work.
Then, turn it back up when you return home. If you have a programmable thermostat, it does this for you, requiring even less effort! You should lower it by 10 to 15 degrees.
#2: Turn down your hot water thermostat.
The optimal temperature here is in the range of 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
#3: Shut doors and close vents in unused rooms.
#4: Use your curtains on windows facing south and west.
Open them up on sunny days and close at night for extra insulation.
(This technically still takes only five minutes if you order them online and have them shipped to your door.)
#7: Increase your inside temperature with your ceiling fan.
Reverse the motor on your ceiling fan so it turns clockwise. (This is as simple as flipping a switch or it may even be a button on a remote control). Keep the fan on a low setting and it will push down the warmer air near the ceiling.