Have you ever wondered why your energy bills never seem to go down? You buy the latest energy saving product, like compact fluorescent bulbs, or turn down your thermostat like every energy saving tip seems to suggest, but your energy costs never seem to decrease all that much.
Before you spend another dime on the "latest and greatest" energy saving electronic device or guide, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and reflect on this.
Every home is different, every home is unique. And I'm not just talking structurally. Every single homeowner is different too, in both their habits and energy usage. So, everyone uses energy differently. And every home uses energy differently. Buying the latest energy star or energy saving appliance may not be saving you as much money as you expected because you use the appliance differently.
And applying an energy savings plan without knowing how your home uses energy is like throwing a dart at a dartboard 15 feet away blindfolded!
Luckily, you can find out how your home uses energy in just a couple of hours by doing your own home energy audit.
An energy audit is the process of inspecting your home's energy usage, from how it uses and loses heat to electrical usage. It involves walking through your home, and carefully looking for energy problems – some of which even can't be seen!
A do-it-yourself energy audit is the single best way to save energy because it shows you exactly how your home uses energy. And once you understand how your home uses energy, you can effectively target and reduce your energy usage. It is the only proven and effective way to lower energy bills and save energy in any house.
And the best part is, if you do it yourself, it is free. You don't have to pay a professional a couple hundred dollars to come in and give you their opinion.
So, how do you do an energy audit?
A basic audit is relatively simple to do. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Walk through each room of your house, and carefully inspect every appliance. Make a note of how much energy it uses and how often it is used daily. Make note of your windows and doors, if they feel drafty, appear old, have broken glass, etc.
Now, sit down and do some simple math. Multiply the hours used per day with the energy rating of your devices or appliances, and this represents the daily usage of each one. If you add all the devices and appliances up, this number represents your daily energy usage.
From these figures, you can easily determine where (and how) you can save energy. For example, it will make little difference to put a CFL in place of a normal bulb that is only used about an hour a day. It might make more sense to cut down on computer usage or draw shades over a sunny window.
The great thing about an audit like this? Its so simple to do, and its repeatable. This means that every season, every year, you can repeat the process and track or monitor your energy usage. If it changes, you can more easily figure out why. This makes "surprises" on your energy bills much less likely.