The Home Energy Audit
The Best Way to Save Energy and Save Money

You’ve heard about green energy efficient homes, and you really want more energy efficiency and energy conservation for your own home. You buy the latest energy saving products - like energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs and Energy Star appliances. You turn down your thermostat - or better, even install a programmable thermostat, as all the home energy saving tips suggest. But, somehow, your energy costs never seem to go down much. Wonder why?

Before you spend any more money on the "latest and greatest" energy saving products or energy efficiency guides, take a deep breath and pause to reflect on The Home Energy Audit.

Every home or apartment is different, each is unique. Even green energy efficient homes! Every person is different too, in their habits, and how we use energy. Really, all of us use energy differently. And every home or building uses energy differently. So the latest Energy Star or energy saving appliances or gadgets, or energy conservation measures, may not save energy or as much money as we expect because we all live and use our appliances differently.

And trying to think up an energy saving plan without knowing how your home actually uses energy is like playing your favorite sport blindfolded!

OK, how do you take the blindfold off and find out how to save energy in just a couple of hours? With your own Home Energy Audits.

A Home Energy Audit is carefully walking through your home or apartment, room by room, and looking - looking very hard - at how you, and your home, use energy. How you and your home use... and lose, heat and electricity. Look for energy problems - some of which you may not even be able to see!

Do-It-Yourself Residential Energy Audits are really the best first step to turn you home into an energy efficient home... because YOU are the one who knows how you live. Once your Home Energy Audit shows you how YOU and your home use energy, YOU will effectively find ways to save energy - and find ways to save money. When you implement the energy saving changes to your home and Energy Saving Tips to your lifestyle that your Home Energy Audit shows up, then you will really see the energy savings, and money savings, start to add up. This is the only proven and effective way to save energy and lower energy bills in any house.

And what’s the best part? Because you do it yourself, it is free! You don't have to pay a professional several hundred dollars to do a Home Energy Audit and give you their opinion.

So, how to do quick and easy residential energy audits?

A basic home energy inspection audit is quite simple to do. With paper and pencil in hand, walk through each room of your house, and carefully inspect the name plate of every appliance and note how much energy it uses, and note how often you use it each day. Check and make note of your windows and doors. If they feel drafty, look old and worn or leaky, have broken glass, etc. Don’t do this from memory, actually walk through each and every room carefully examining every energy user there, along with windows, doors... everything.

Now, sit down for some simple math (a computer with a spreadsheet program can really help here so you can really see where the numbers actually come from and how they all add up into a total picture of where you can be a home energy saver). Simply multiply the hours used per day with the energy rating of your devices or appliances. This is your daily usage of each one. If you add all the devices and appliances up, this number represents your energy usage each day. The best part about doing this in a spreadsheet program on your computer is that you can save each audit for comparison from season to season and year to year.

These figures help you quickly and easily determine where (and how) you can save on energy. For example, the energy savings from putting a CFL in place of a normal bulb that is only used about an hour a day (for instance, we have 15 watt bulbs by each side of our bed - but they are used maybe 15 minutes a year, so it would cost far more to replace them with CFL bulbs than we could possibly save in several years use). You might spot things like turning your computer and the rest of your office equipment off when you break for lunch. And you will probably see where it makes sense to close shades over sunny windows during the warmer months while leaving them open during the cooler months. Find more Energy Saving Tips here.

The great thing about a D.I.Y. Home Energy Audit like this? It’s very simple, and always repeatable. This means every season, every year, you can repeat the process to track and monitor your home energy saving so your home can remain an energy efficient home. And if anything changes, you can quickly see why and easily bring back the energy efficiency. And "surprises" on your energy bills become much less likely for an energy efficient home like yours.

© Copyright 2011

David Anderson has a great kit for those looking for their own "Do It Yourself "Home Energy Audit. It not only has complete instructions, it also includes "calculators" for you to track the results of your energy saving improvements room by room and year by year to watch your savings mount up.