Green tip for week #42 — Week of February 15, 2009

Get a home energy audit

Once you have been living in a home for awhile and see the monthly utility bills, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that those bills may be higher than they need to be.  The simple fact is that many homes consume more energy than they should, due to ineffective insulation, poor sealing of doors, attics, garages, and more.

There are several ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, and a home energy audit is usually a good place to start.  Although it is possible to do your own self-diagnosed audit, it sounds a bit like giving yourself a medical check-up.  Since you are not likely trained to find all the potential problems and identify the most effective solution, it may only get you part way there.

In some areas, your utility company will provide a free, reduced-cost, or negotiated-price audit by a trained professional.  Energy audits may involve equipment that helps with the diagnosis, such as blower doors, which measure leaks within the home, or infrared cameras which can identify air infiltration, leaks or missing insulation.

Check with your utility provider to find out what energy audits they may offer or suggest.  You can learn more about home energy audits at the U.S. Department of Energy website, here.

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