If your utility bill seems larger than it ought to be, perform an energy audit on your home this weekend. This DIY home inspection can help you identify assorted energy problems in the home that are costing you money in addition to hurting the planet. While a DIY energy audit will not be as thorough as one performed by a professional, it will still help you lower your bills and contribute to a healthier world.
- Find and seal air leaks. Keep a pen and paper with you and make notes of all obvious drafts and other air leaks in the home. Reducing drafts in the home can save between 5 and 30 percent in energy costs per year. Look for gaps along baseboards, ceilings and walls. Check for drafts on the outside of your home, such as in mortar, siding and the foundation, as well as leaks around faucets, wiring, electrical outlets and pipes. Don’t forget to inspect windows and doors for leaks. Find and seal leaks between your attic and living spaces, too. Walk around the inside of your exterior walls with a lighted incense stick. If the smoke wavers, you’ve probably found an air leak. Seal all drafts/leaks with caulk, spray foam and weatherstripping, depending on the situation.
- Check light fixtures. Lighting makes up about 10 percent of your energy bill, so inspect fixtures for old, energy-sucking bulbs. Replace them with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. LED lights are another energy-friendly choice.
- Check and clean the air filter. Your HVAC system will have to work much harder if the filter is dirty, which in turn costs you more money. Cleaning the filter also will improve indoor air quality. Regular inspection and maintenance of heating/cooling systems is also essential to keep your energy bill down. Upgrade old equipment as needed.
- Inspect all appliances and electronics. Take a look at these items to determine if they should be replaced with more energy-efficient models. Unplug units that are rarely used to avoid “phantom loads,” or change the setting on an item if you only use it occasionally.
For more expert advice on performing a DIY energy audit, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide quality HVAC services to the Yuma area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy audits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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