Conducting Your Own Home Energy Audit

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 3:00pm.

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.

Energy Bills
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.

Air Leakage
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.

Insulation
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.

Lighting
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

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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