Let’s face it. We all want to make sure we are maximizing our energy savings and decreasing our utility bills. According to EnergySavers.gov, each family spends over $2,000 every year on utilities, but as surprising as it might be, much of the energy coming into our homes is wasted! A simple home energy audit will help you understand what areas of your home use the most energy so you can start reducing your utility bills AND your impact on the environment.
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Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit to Cash in on Savings
Follow these tips to help you perform an audit so you can start saving money on utility bills:
Test your home for air tightness
Hold a lit incense stick to all windows, doors, plumbing fixtures and other exits to the outside. Where does the smoke go? Caulk, seal, insulate and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings that are made apparent with the incense.
Properly maintain your heating and cooling systems
Heating and cooling your home accounts for over 50 percent of most people’s utility bills. Replace filters, install a programmable thermostat and make sure registers are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes. You will see a big difference when it comes to your monthly bill.
Save on hot water
Your water heater is a huge energy hog. Drastically reduce your energy bills by reducing the amount of hot water you use, turning down the thermostat on your water heater or buying a new, more energy efficient model.
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Don’t let energy escape through the window
Double paned windows will keep the heat or air conditioning inside the home where you want it. Upgrade if you can. This will be a significant up-front cost that pays out in the end. Install blinds on windows or exterior awnings to help maximize your energy savings.
Change your light bulbs
Energy for lighting accounts for about 10 percent of your electric bill. Make sure you are using the proper wattage bulb for each room. Switch to energy efficient lighting to cut costs.
For detailed analysis and recommendations based on your own region and climate, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Saver website. It will walk you through a step-by-step home energy audit to help you save money and reduce your environmental footprint!
Have you made any changes in your home to help reduce your utility bills? Are they helping?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.