Electric bills can be quite disheartening. Fortunately, you can help bring your costs down by evaluating the energy efficiency of your home. Know what steps you should take and how you can conduct or organize an accurate evaluation of the energy used by your home.
Getting an energy audit
Do it Yourself recommended contacting your electricity provider to do an energy audit of your home. In some instances, this may be done at no additional cost to you. Typically, a professional will come over and conduct a home inspection to determine your energy efficiency. He or she will likely walk through and evaluate your house and provide you with tips and advice for helping you lower your energy bill.
If this is not an option, you can figure out your home's energy efficiency on your own.
Performing your own energy audit
There are a number of things to consider when walking through your home to find ways you might be wasting energy. Doors, windows and skylights commonly present an issue. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ensuring sufficient weatherstripping is present on doors that lead outside or to the garage is crucial. In addition, improper installation of windows and doors may contribute to your high energy bill. Ensure that there are no cracks or gaps that may be allowing warmth or coolness to escape.
You may also need to change the filters for your heating and cooling systems, or the units themselves may require service. Evaluate the condition of the hardware, and if necessary, call a professional to take a look at your system. Have your hardware serviced annually to ensure optimal operation.
The lightbulbs you select may also be the culprit behind your energy bill. The U.S. Department of Energy noted that halogen incandescent, LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps are some efficient options available to you. You can save 25 percent by switching to LED, which are light-emitting diodes, when compared to a standard incandescent bulb.
Making cost-effective changes
When figuring out ways to cut down your energy bill, know what changes you are willing to make. Do it Yourself noted that the temperature you set your thermostat to can have a profound effect on the money you are spending for energy.
Consider lowering your heat or air conditioning a few degrees and utilize ceiling fans to distribute air flow. Also, do not feel obligated to set your thermostat to a specific level if you are not home. Maybe even think about turning it down when no one is home. During the winter heat must still remain on, but can stay at a lower temperature when the home is vacant.