How much energy does your home use?

How much energy does your home use?

A home energy audit is an inexpensive way to identify money saving improvements that will reduce your monthly energy bills – the first step in making your home more efficient. An audit can help you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency. The resulting report can help improve your home’s efficiency and comfort.

You can conduct a simple home energy audit yourself with some easy steps.

  • Check the insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces. More than half of the homes in the U.S. are under insulated and insulation is often one of the lowest cost options for improving energy efficiency.
  • Study your family’s lighting needs and use patterns. Pay special attention to high-use areas such as the living room, kitchen, and outside lighting. Use timers to reduce lighting use. 

For a more comprehensive examination on how you can increase efficiency, consider contacting a professional home energy advisor.

  • These professionals typically use a variety of high-tech equipment such as blower doors, infrared cameras and surface thermometers to find leaks and drafts.
  • The auditor should also do a room-by-room examination as well as a thorough check of past utility bills.
  • Following an energy audit, a good auditor will give you a list of recommendations for cost-effective energy improvements and enhanced comfort and safety.
  • Some common recommendations include sealing air leaks, sealing ductwork and adding insulation.
  • You might be advised to consider upgrading lighting and appliances to a simple remedy such as weather-stripping.
  • Although a home energy audit’s scope depends on the age, size and design of the house, a typical professional audit takes three to four hours and costs $250-$800.
  • It’s a good idea to be there at the time of the audit. Make a list of any existing problems for the auditor such as condensation and uncomfortable or draft rooms.
  • Walk through your home with the auditor and ask questions.

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