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DIY Home Energy Audits

Friday, November 11th, 2016


DIY Home Energy Audits - Image 1

We know that winter is here. The calendar doesn’t lie. We know that we’ll soon feel the snow and the wind and the cold. What we don’t always expect is the way it makes our pocketbook feel. Light. So instead of waiting to feel that winter is here, be read for it. This year, give your home the energy audit you’ve always wanted to. And better yet, do it yourself and save even more. Here are 8 problems that are likely to be the culprits for ...

 

Drafty Windows & Doors

Depending on the age of your home and the quality of your windows and doors, your main concerning with saving on your heating bill could be linked to drafts forcing that heating bill to skyrocket.

Audit - To fully gauge where that chilly draft is coming from light a stick of incense on a blustry day and make your way around your windows and doors. The smoke from the incense should give you a great indicator of where the draft is coming from.

Fix - Now that you have the evidence, you will need to ask a few questions. Is it time for new window(s)? Or is there a ways to patch the problem? Lets says you answered and agreed with the latter. For the windows, get yourself some acrylic latex caulk or weather stripping and patch those areas where the draft is coming from. If the door seems to be the issues, ask your local hardware expert what they recommend.

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Image via conqueryourdebt.com

 

High Utility Bill

It happens most winter months. We get the utility bills and ask ourselves one simple question, HOW? Most energy bills do not break it down and actually explain where the energy consumption is highest. And in order to bring down the costs, we need to analyze how we use our energy.

Audit & Fix - Many utility companies now offer their customers pilot programs that set up a digital energy management system in your home to pinpoint your energy usage. Smart plug-ins, smart thermostats, and other wi-fi enabled devices can be set-up to relay information to source in order to analyze your energy usage. If you energy company does not offer pilot programs, you will need to determine how much you are willing to invest in a management system to reduce your energy consumption.

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“Smart thermostat” Image via gizhumb.net

 

Phantom Appliances

Many of your appliance may be costing you money even when they aren’t working. The “stand-by” feature on many appliances still use plenty of energy.

Audit - In order to check what devices sapping energy without you knowing it, purchase a Kill a Watt detector. It’s a pretty cheap investment (around $20) and will let you know what appliances are using energy.

Fix - Use power strips on those appliances that you find are not very energy efficient. Click off the power strip at night and when you are not using them to make sure they are not sapping energy.

DIY Home Energy Audits - Image 4

“Smart thermostat” Image via gizhumb.net

 

Phantom Appliances

Many of your appliance may be costing you money even when they aren’t working. The “stand-by” feature on many appliances still use plenty of energy.

Audit - In order to check what devices sapping energy without you knowing it, purchase a Kill a Watt detector. It’s a pretty cheap investment (around $20) and will let you know what appliances are using energy.

Fix - Use power strips on those appliances that you find are not very energy efficient. Click off the power strip at night and when you are not using them to make sure they are not sapping energy.

Watt usage detector

Leaky Ductwork

Aging ductwork is another area that should be re-evaluated every year. The smallest of holes and leaks can lead to high heating bills, so make sure you check your system. And here’s how.

Audit - Use a flashlight to look for places dust has been blown from ductwork. Unless you dust your basement and attic on a regular basis, the areas that are dust-free should be suspicious.

Fix - Once you have located areas of concern, use either of the following to patch. For holes, use a water-based mastic sealant. For seams that need repaired, use HVAC foil tape.

 

Exterior Wall Openings

Holes in the exterior of your home can be there for a number of reasons. Cable hook-ups, exhaust vents and sewer lines can all be poorly insulated and lead to increased heating costs. Here’s how you know if this is a problem for your home.

Audit - To complete an audit on your own, get yourself a handheld infrared thermal leak detector. A great, relatively cheap, investment for your home.

Fix - Depending on where your problem area(s) are, you’ll need to find the corresponding fix to shore up the opening. More often than not, a silicone caulk or spray foam sealant should do the trick.

 

An audit is essential to save money on your utilities. If you want to save money on gutter cleaning, contact Leafguard and enjoy worry-free gutters.

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LeafGuard by Keeney Home Services
1449 Kimberly Dr
Neenah, WI 54956
1-920-215-4140
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