Do-it-yourself energy audits find electricity savings
Homeowners are often at a loss when it comes to figuring out what causes their electric bills to soar, particularly in the summer when energy-hungry air conditioners are part of the mix. But in just a few minutes, with 12 months of utility bills in hand, consumers can solve this dilemma with guidance from a do-it-yourself energy audit recommended by EnergyStar.gov.
An audit tallies up the energy usage from household appliances, electronics and any other device that requires electricity to run. The goal is to isolate what devices are most draining and causing utility bills to go up. If homeowners don’t have all their bills, they can obtain a 12-month summary from their local electric company.
In addition, if consumers want to compare their experience to how other homeowners and apartment dwellers are faring, they can use the Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick. It determines how their energy use stacks up against their neighbors’ and others’ across the country who have similar dwellings.
Householders need their zip code, age of the dwelling, square footage and number of people who live in the house to use the service. The zip code is needed because energy costs vary considerably from region to region.
Learning to save energy
Not only will the audit tell you how much electricity is being used, but it offers ways to curb electrical use and make your home more efficient. For instance, instead of relying on air conditioners to cool your home, situating electric fans in key places within your residence can create a cooling flow of air from room to room.
Fans, from wall-mounted models to tower fans with oscillation to provide widespread coverage, use less electricity than air conditioners. However, when used in tandem, the two types of appliances complement each other. You can run your air conditioner for a certain amount of time to reach a comfortable temperature, distribute the air with fans and then turn off the AC. The fans will continue to push the cool air throughout your home.
If you want expert advice on your home’s energy use, many utility companies provide free or discounted energy evaluations by auditors.They’ll determine where leaks exist in your home and supply you with specific recommendations for lowering your energy use and costs.
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