As a homeowner, saving money is paramount. Not only will these tips for saving money on your energy bills lower your monthly costs, but it will also ensure that your carbon footprint isn’t contributing to the greenhouse gasses that are causing global warming. If you are trying to find a way to be more energy efficient and make your home more impervious to drafts and major energy leaks, you want to complete what is called a home energy audit. A home energy audit simply means that you use a number of tools and resources to detect areas in your home where you are squandering energy. Typically, these areas of leakage are undetectable by the naked eye, so you will need an audit to find them. Here are some DIY home energy audit and evaluation tips for homeowners.
- Conduct a visual energy audit first. Before you start searching for the mysteries, you want to start closing the most obvious cases first. This requires a thorough visual inspection of your property. If you notice that doors have spaces under them, you have officially found a major energy leak. The same goes for windows and even cracks in your foundation – you want to make a list of all the issues you can find with your naked eye before you move on.
- Use a candle to find air drafts in your window frame. Air drafts are simply areas in your window where energy escapes. They may be small, but when you are blasting your air conditioner or heater, much of this energy can actually escape and cost you serious money. So, you want to take out a candle, light its wick and then move the flame around the window casement – very slowly. If you get to an area where you suspect there is a leak, you want to hold the candle over the area – if the candle wavers just a little bit, you have found a draft.
- Conduct a blower door test to find more imperceptible leaks. A blower door test is unique and it is the industry standard way to test for energy efficiency. Most of the time, the test is completed and carried out by a specialized technician. However, you can rent the system yourself and complete the test. Simply attach the blower door instrument and use the meter to find any invisible drafts and leaks.
- Find appliances that may be using too much energy. Have you ever heard of vampire appliances? Indeed, vampire appliances are electronic equipment in your home that is sucking energy even when it is turned off. These appliances include computers, smartphones and charging tablets. Simply make sure to turn them off and then create a policy for how long these items should be plugged in.
- Look for light bulbs that may be using too much energy. A simple incandescent bulb can waste a lot of energy. By finding all these bulbs in your home and then replacing them with CFL or LED bulbs, you can effectively save a tremendous amount of energy. In the end, it is often the little things that count the most.