What: An online energy audit is an analysis of your home’s energy flow and usage which helps you find areas where your house is losing energy. It will show you what steps you can take to make your home more energy-efficient and, more importantly, save your significant amounts of money over time.
Why: Not only is your home’s energy use a large part of your carbon footprint but with energy costs expected to continue rising, reducing your energy usage is a no-brainer. In fact, your annual savings can range from 5-30% in a reduction of your electricity bill.
How: You can call a professional energy auditor, who will use tools like blower doors to determine leaks in the building windows and doors, and infrared cameras to help find energy loss through the walls. But if your wallet is still in shock from the holidays, there are plenty of resources online to help you conduct one yourself.
- First, you need to find the leaks in your home. You can do this by using an incense stick and passing it along the walls, windows, and doors. The movement of the smoke will show you where the leaks are. Once you’ve found them, you can seal them with caulking and weather strips.
- Check the insulation materials in your attic and basement, and around your water heater, hot water pipes, and furnace ducts. If it is crumbling or cracking, it’s lost its effectiveness.
- Check the coils of your air conditioning unit and remove any dirt. The dirtier they are, the less effective your unit. Also, check and clean the coils of your refrigerator.