If your monthly energy bill has started to make you cringe, then it might be time to conduct an energy audit on your home. Hiring a professional can cost you a pretty penny. So save the dough and examine your home yourself. With a few tools and the tips below, you can identify problem areas that could be costing you every month.
Analyze last year’s energy bills. Each statement should itemize the energy you use each month in kilowatts. Note any spikes that could indicate problems with one of your appliances or the structure of your home. Call your energy provider and ask what the average cost is for a home of your size in your area. Then determine how extensively you need to conduct your energy audit.
Warm or cool air escaping from your home can cost you more money and overstress your appliances. To search for cracks that air might be seeping through, light an incense stick and walk into each room of your home on a windy day. The smoke from the incense stick will highlight problem areas and you can mark them with painters’ tape.
Heating And Cooling System
Thoroughly inspect your heating and cooling equipment. Most homeowners neglect to follow appliance manufacturers’ recommendations of doing this once a year. Make sure your system is working properly. Change filters and examine ductwork. If your appliances are older than 15 years, consider replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Go up into your attic and check for insulation. If the insulation covers the joists, then there is probably enough to protect your home. Remove light sockets and use a flashlight to see if your walls have been insulated. If not, you might want to have insulation blown in. Look for any stained or damaged insulation. This could be a sign of exterior leaks that need to be fixed.
According to Energy.gov, lighting accounts for around 10% of energy usage. As part of your energy audit, reduce your use by replacing inefficient bulbs with incandescent or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Consider using lower-wattage bulbs in rooms that get a lot of sunlight and only turning on table lamps instead of overhead lighting at night.
For more helpful tips and information about buying and selling a Santa Cruz home, email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com or give me a call at 831.662.6522.
For additional real estate information, please visit my home page at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com