While the Department of Energy recommends having a professional energy audit as the most effective method of accessing your home's energy efficiency, it is possible for DIYers to conduct their own audit to pinpoint some of the troublespots and improve efficiency.
What is Home Energy Efficiency?
Simply put, energy efficiency is the use of less energy to power more things. As a homeowner, the more efficient your home, the less you spend annually in electricity.
Major Problem Areas
Perhaps the greatest problem for most homeowners are the drafts that occur in your home. Air escaping through leaks around door frames, baseboards, and window ledges can reduce home energy efficiency by as much as ten to twenty percent each year. Check for cracks around areas where different materials join together. Simple caulk or weatherstripping will alleviate a majority of these issues.
Another common problem is an inadequate amount of insulation. Insulation in the attic and walls helps to prevent energy loss throughout your home. While it is difficult to check and replace insulation in preexisting walls, checking the attic is far less intrusive. Review local building codes to identify the minimum required amount of insulation for your home and measure the amount you currently have. Chances are you can improve your home energy efficiency by simply adding insulation.
It may be surprising but lighting your home can account for as much as ten percent of your monthly energy bill. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient bulbs like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. Look for ways to better manage the amount of light you use. Dimmer switches and timers can be a viable option.
Heating and Cooling
Your HVAC system should be inspected annually to ensure proper performance. Change filters on a regular basis to reduce the amount of strain put on your unit. If your unit is older than 15 years, consider replacing it with a more efficient system.
Appliances can affect your energy bill whether you use them or not. Unplug all appliances when not in use and always consider energy ratings when purchasing new appliances.
To schedule a professional home evaluation, contact us at Air Assurance. We serve the Broken Arrow area.