Homeowners feeling zapped each month after looking at their energy bill might look for ways to lower their use. Yet, consuming less energy also may help homeowners decrease their carbon footprint and lead a greener lifestyle.
There are many easy changes homeowners can make to lower use, and a home energy audit checklist makes it easier for homeowners to spot energy drains and make the changes they need to help eliminate wasteful energy consumption. Use this home energy audit checklist to decrease the carbon footprint and possibly lower bills, too.
To conduct a home-energy audit, homeowners need to analyze the energy use of every room in the home. Here’s how homeowners can spot energy waste in each room.
Lights, fans, and lightning cables used to charge portable gadgets may add to energy waste. Check these areas to spot energy drains that could be adding to the monthly bill:
- Unused gadgets or devices plugged into outlets or power strips
- Incandescent bulbs in light fixtures (switch to LED)
- Check around windows for air leaks
The bathroom can be the source of water leaks and electricity drains, too. When auditing the bathroom, don’t forget to check:
- Water valves below the sink for drips
- Water spouts for leaks or drips
- Pipes for any drips or leaks
- The toilet valve for drips
- Outlets for any used gadgets (like a hair styling product)
To save water use each month, homeowners also can elect to install low-flow showerheads and toilets. This can help minimize water waste.
Living and Family Areas
Televisions, streaming devices, lights, stereo equipment and other gadgets can all add to the electricity usage in the living room. Audit these areas in the living and rec spaces:
- Check all outlets for unused gadgets/appliances
- Switch all bulbs to LED (if this hasn’t already been done)
- Check around windows for air leaks
The kitchen may be the source of electricity waste because of unused—but plugged in—appliances. Audit these potential kitchen energy drains:
- Check all outlets for unused appliances
- Feel around windows for leaks
Other Auditing Areas
There are small details that may make a big change in energy use. The temperature on the hot water heater, for example, may be set too high. Not only could this lead to scalding, but it may increase energy use, too. Check the hot water heater and set the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (unless there are health issues that require a hotter setting).
The HVAC thermostat may be adjusted, too. During winter, set the temperature to a cooler 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer heat may feel extreme, but keep the air conditioning set to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for energy efficiency.
An old air filter in the HVAC may mean the system is working less efficiently. Swap out a dirty filter for a clean one! Homeowners should change their air filter every month or every other month. Those who tend to forget can opt to set a reminder on their phone.
In addition, homeowners who are in need of a new appliance should think about investing in an energy–efficient option. This helps save even more energy each month.
Inadequate insulation also could cause the HVAC to work overtime. If the home is feeling too hot in summer or too cold in winter, consider hiring a professional to check the insulation in the home. One way to tell if the attic insulation is subpar is if snow on the roof melts quickly. This means that heat is escaping from the home!
DIY Home Energy Audit or Hire a Pro?
Homeowners may wonder if they can do their own home energy audit of if they should hire a professional. A DIY home energy audit can help homeowners spot common energy leaks, while hiring a pro may help find more hidden drains. However, a professional home energy audit costs, on average, about $400. Some homeowners may pay much more…or less. Not all homeowners want to handle their own home energy audit, so a professional might be the best option.
Those who are interested in tackling their own audit also can use HomeSelfe for guidance. With HomeSelfe, homeowners take a picture of each room and enter data regarding energy usage. The app then helps identify areas of energy waste. In addition, HomeSelfe also can help homeowners find rebates. The app can be downloaded via Google Play for Android or the App Store for Apple.
Whether homeowners elect to hire a professional or conduct their own DIY home energy audit, analyzing the energy use of the home can help homeowners make the necessary changes they need to live greener and save green!