Earth Day can be so inspiring to try to live in a “greener,” more sustainable way. When you get down to it, living up to Earth Day can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a long term way to improve the energy efficiency of your home, a home energy audit might be right for you.
How to Self-Evaluate Your Home’s Energy Use
A professional audit can thoroughly and effectively determine the areas of your house where energy escapes or is used inefficiently. There are some basic things you can look out for to self-evaluate your home as well.
- Do you notice drafts in your home?
This means air is leaking in and out of your home, making heating and cooling more difficult. Taking care of these air leaks can save homeowners money and make your home generally more comfortable. Pay special attention to areas around windows and doors. Make sure insulation is sufficient where necessary as well.
- Do you leave items like chargers and small appliances plugged in even when you aren’t using them?
They can still be using It’s called phantom energy and it can make a big difference in your energy consumption. Use power strips to separate devices that need to remain powered at all times and things that do not. There are also special power strips that are designed to deal with phantom energy if you want to spend a little more money and not have to worry about flipping strips on and off.
- Are you using energy efficient lighting in your home?
If you aren’t, the small switch could make a big difference. Energy efficient light bulbs often last longer in your home as well. If you want an even bigger change, you can invest in large appliances that are more energy efficient.
- Is your heating/cooling equipment old?
Have you recently had it inspected or maintained? Upkeep is very important to keeping your equipment working as well as it should be. Any equipment that is more than 15 years old is significantly less efficient according to Energy.gov, even if it’s in working condition.
- Do you have a programmable thermostat?
Do you use it to manage your heating and cooling? Smart home automation allows you to manage schedules for your thermostat. With a platform like the Guardian App, you can see what patterns exist and learn how to maximize the use of your thermostat on a daily basis. Learn more about how important your thermostat can be.
After all this, it is still wise to consider a professional home energy audit to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Learn more about home energy audits on Energy.gov.