“Every dollar you spend on making your home more efficient decreases the cost of your power system by approximately $3 to $5!”
~~~Home Power Magazine
You may need to perform a home energy audit. This simply means you will do a study of how energy is used and lost in your home. You can do the audit yourself. Hire a contractor. Or ask your energy provider.
How do you do it yourself? Take a good look around your home. Drafts and air leaks are the bad guys. You will need insulation, caulking and weatherstripping to give ’em a beating and take ’em out. The obvious places are windows and doors. If you feel cold air blowing a gale around either one of these, grab a caulking gun, aim and fire. You may want to consider replacing windows and doors if do-it-yourself measures won’t cut it.
And don’t forget to check around fireplace dampers and window air conditioners. Other energy wasters are gaps around pipes and electrical outlets, vents and attic hatches. Anywhere and everywhere there is an opening, picture money squeezing out through! Most energy is lost through ceilings and walls. You’ll want to find out what kind of insulation is in your home and if it’s up to snuff for your climate. If you have your building plans, check the R value of your home when it was built. This is the laboratory standard which describes the insulation’s resistance to heat transfer. You may want to consult an insulation contractor.
How’s your heating and/or cooling system? If it’s at least 15 years old, you should consider replacing your system with the newer, more energy-efficient models of today. I know it costs money now but you’ll be amazed at the improvements. Lighting accounts for at least 10% of your energy bill. Remember when your parents hounded you to turn off the lights when you left the room? Okaaay..They were right! Now you get to say it. Along with conserving light, buy the new compact fluorescent bulbs. They are said to last 10 times longer and use a quarter of the electricity.
If you’re able to afford a professional contractor to do your energy audit, seriously consider it. Why? They have the knowledge and tools to give you the most bang for your buck. They will spot things you’ve missed. And don’t forget. Your public utility company may do one for little or no cost.
For more information on energizing your home, visit Renewable Energy For Newbies at http://howtomakepower.blogspot.com