Get a Home Energy Audit
One of the best ways to save money in your home in the winter is to turn down the thermostat. That may cause problems with keeping warm. Another alternative is to get your home an energy audit. A home energy audit can be done by some companies, including your electric or gas company, for varying costs. Make sure to do your research before having one and evaluating if they cost worth an auditor coming out.
The heating and cooling units are the most significant culprit when it comes to energy use in a home. Another significant factor in energy inefficiency is air leaks and drafts. It is estimated if you get the leaks and drafts fixed you can save between 5 and 30% on your energy bill per year (energysavers.gov). If you are willing to put in the recommended work, you will quickly save the cost of getting an energy audit.
What do Energy Auditors do?
The first thing they do is look for drafts and leaks throughout the home. To do this, they have what is called a blower door. A fan is inserted to fit the exact measurements of an outer door. When they turn on the fan, it allows them to see the leaks nearby the doors and window frames.
What are the ways that a home energy audit can save you money?
The first thing auditors will recommend is starting with your attic. The attic is the most significant culprit in heat loss in the home. Many parts of your home are attached to the attic, so this is where the most leaks can occur. There are a couple of things you can do to fix the holes. If you aren’t handy or lack the time, you can hire a professional to do it for you, and they will fix the leaks for you. If you have the time, and the skills, you can seal the holes with some expandable foam. Covering the cracks will help you retain the cold and hot inside the house where they should be and save you from unnecessary heating parts of the home.
The next area to look at is the opposite part of the home, the basement. Making sure you seal leaks in the basement will keep moisture, as well as cold and warm air escaping to other parts of the house. If you can keep floors insulated that will eliminate the need to move the thermometer up in the critical cold weather months and keep you fresh in the warm summer months.
Is an audit worth the expense?
If you are looking at the long-term and you are willing to put in the fixes necessary, then the answer is yes. Most homes will have some drafts or leaks and if they are taken care of, can save you thousands of the lifetime of a house.