With the economy in such a turmoil, everyone is scrambling to lower utility bills. Utility bills represent a large portion of a monthly budget. Simple changes can result in big money savings and energy savings.
One of the first steps you should take to reduce your utility bills is to have a household energy audit done. An inspection of your entire home can identify areas where energy is being wasted. Knowing what type of changes that can be made, can result in significant savings in the future.
Have an Insulation Audit Performed
One of the biggest areas where energy is wasted is in home insulation. Older homes especially lack proper wall and attic insulation.
Auditing your insulation requires evaluating several factors that are unique to your household, that contribute to that homes energy use. Seeing as how much money you can waste with a poorly insulated home, it would be worth your time to find an expert in this area to do the audit. Most communities have general home service companies in the area that can perform this task.
Homes in cold areas require different types of insulation than homes in warmer climates. Having the proper insulation will result in lower heating and cooling costs. Professionals will be able to determine the proper type and amount of insulation you require.
Seal Leaky Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are often areas where there is a large amount of energy leakage. Replacement of leaky, inefficient windows may be expensive, but long term savings can be significant.
Your heating and cooling systems will operate much more efficiently if all the leaks in the doors and windows are sealed properly.
Checking for leaks can be done by simply feeling the temperature outside the doors and windows, or you can hire a professional to do a thorough check. Crawl spaces and basements also need to be checked for energy leakage.
Attics Need Proper Insulation
Attics play a huge roll in your heating and cooling bills. Inadequate ventilation and improper insulation can result in higher bills.
Always check to be sure there are no holes in the ceilings that could cause air leakage from the interior of the home into the attic. Sealing any holes will reduce your energy consumption significantly.
Hiring a professional to check your attic insulation is a good investment. They will be able to tell you whether fiberglass or foam is a better choice to increase the R factor in your home.
Energy Loss From a Fireplace
In recent years, fireplaces have become common in modern homes, especially in the northern climates. The problem with a fireplace is that they allow a large amount of heat loss when not in use. If not sealed properly, heating and air conditioning energy escapes through the chimney.
The flue must be properly closed when the fireplace is not in use, so the heating and air conditioning cannot escape.
Know What Insulation Your Home Needs
Adding insulation to your home can be a do-it-yourself project. Simple jobs can be performed by most homeowners. Home improvement centers have all the supplies and equipment necessary to perform many of these jobs. More complex jobs such as adding insulation to an attic can be a do-it-yourself job, but it is often left up to the professionals.
Every year that you delay an audit, costs you money. The savings you realize will quickly offset any expense you incurred to properly insulate your home. In addition, an audit will often uncover problems you didn’t even know existed. An insulation audit should be a priority, and should be performed on a regular basis.
Properly insulating your home is a wise decision. Not only do you save money, but you are also helping out the environment at the same time.