Save Energy – Have an Energy Audit Done

Performing an energy audit on your home can point out several areas where you might be losing energy. They are easy to do, and you can either do one yourself, or sometimes the electric company will come in and do one for you for free, or at a reduced cost.

By catching potential problem areas ahead of time, you can save quite a bit of energy and costs associated with it. If you’re looking to save some money on your utility bills, than an energy audit should be on your “must do” list.

Here is what needs to be checked during an energy audit:

Exterior:

Walls – examine the outside facing walls and look for cracks or holes where air might escape. Pay closest attention to bricks or where siding can meet. Hold a candle near a potential trouble spot, and you’ll be able to notice drafts. Be sure to seal your problem area with caulking or weather stripping.
Window and Doors – Look for cracks around exterior doors, windows and electrical outlets. Apply caulking or sealant on your problem areas.

Landscaping – Trees, vines and shrubs around the house can provide shade and keep your house cooler. Remove any landscaping around your outdoor air conditioning unit to allow fresh air to freely flow into the unit.

Interior:

Cooling and heating equipment- Your best bet is to bring in a professional for this step, unless you’re knowledgeable about this area. Have your air conditioning and heating units inspected and if they need to be replaced, go with an Energy Star system. Keep them clean and in good running condition not only makes them last longer, but saves a ton of energy.

Thermostats – Installing a simple automatic, or programmable thermostat can save a lot of money over the course of a season. They are relatively inexpensive.

Indoor lighting – replaced regular light bulbs with incandescent light bulbs. They save energy. See if there are any rooms that you can add additional sunlight to, to save electric light completely.

Appliances – make sure all of your appliances are clear of dust and lint to make sure they receive proper airflow. Check the gaskets on your refrigerator and freezer to make sure cold air isn’t leaking out, and warm air in. Use less hot water by washing your clothes with cold water.

The roof and attic:

Attic – Take a glance in your attic to make sure there is sufficient insulation. This will help maintain the heat stays in your house, rather than leaking out. Adding insulation if it’s needed, is relatively inexpensive and can make a significant difference in your energy usage.

Roof- Check shingles for wear and tear, and make sure they are intact and in good shape. Check the flashing around your chimney and vents and make sure skylights and antennas are properly sealed to save water from leaking in, and air from going out.

Taking the time to perform an energy audit, or to have one done for you by your utility company can save you money in the long run. Keep your home running efficiently!

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