How a DIY Home Energy Audit Can Save You Big Time
A thorough home energy audit might place low on your list of winter priorities right now. Belts are tightening, power rates are rising, and Christmas is, somehow, just around the corner again. Well, think twice folks! Even though Georgia usually has moderate winters, consumers this year are paying higher natural gas rates. Data from the Georgia Public Service Commission shows last year’s average home used 383 therms. That means higher winter gas bills. But, a simple, regular home energy audit is the best way to trim your usage. Here’s how to do it, and (most importantly) what it’ll save you…
How to DIY Home Energy Audit
Start off by running your home energy details through this home energy yardstick. It’ll cook you up some useful info like an ENERGY STAR score, energy usage breakdowns, and tips for reducing your usage. Then, it’s time to get checking…
Check: Getting Draughty?
Joints in window frames, door frames, and other home fixtures can leave narrow gaps where air currents slip in. Not plugging them up means you’re losing out on the opportunity to slash your energy usage by up to 20% annually.
Use caulking on fixed, slim gaps like around plumbing fixtures. But use expanding foam to fill larger holes. For areas where you need a bit more give, like door and windows, try weatherstripping with readily available materials like felt.
Check: How Are Your Bulbs?
Older incandescent light bulbs, pretty though they be, are highly inefficient. And lighting typically accounts for about a tenth of your household electric bill. So consider swapping out those cantankerous old energy-hogs with new, energy efficient LED bulbs. The average US home saves $225 annually with this simple switch!
Check: Are you Insulated?
Sub-par home insulation is one of the biggest energy drainers out there. And this is especially true over winter. So check your walls, floor, and attic space to see if they’re providing the right R-value. We dove into attic insulation a short while back. However, fixes like draught excluders and thick curtains are cheap, simple DIY solutions to help save on locking in your home’s heat.
Check: How are your Appliances?
Are you leaving electronics plugged in or, gasp, switched on when they’re not in use? Because every US household loses, on average, $165 each year to this kind of idle load. Unplug electronics that aren’t in use, and being sparing with your usage. Especially if you’re shooting off on travels over the holidays!
Check: Status of Heating and Cooling Equipment?
Cosmetic quirks like streaks on ductwork can indicate air leaks. And dirty air filters will seriously hamper the performance of forced-air furnaces. Plus, this kind of wear-and-tear can seriously add to your monthly natural gas bills.
So keep filters changed regularly, seal leaks with duct mastic, and show your equipment some TLC with regular check-ups!
Bonus Hack: Get Paid to Save on Energy Bills!
Did you know that Atlanta Gas Light offers rebates for customers using energy efficient natural gas appliances? If you’re shopping around for a new tankless water heater, tank style water heater, dryer, or furnace, check them out. You could be missing out on up to $2,000 in rebates!
Cut Power Bills Today with a DIY Energy Audit!
Remember, even the newest of new-builds could do with some energy-saving adjustments. So save on winter heating with an energy audit today! And once you’re done, try tooling around on www.GeorgiaGasSavings.com for even more evergreen energy advice.