Save Energy -- Save Money - Two Tools Together to Do a Better Job
We pay our hard earned money for the energy we use in our daily lives. So when we save energy, we will save money. We all know that buying and using energy efficient cars and appliances, walking whenever possible, and turning off lights and appliances when not in use will save energy and save us money. Another way to save energy and money is not letting energy (money) escape into or out of your home after you have paid for it. One of the best ways to make sure you use energy in the best, and most energy/money saving possible way is to do an energy audit on your home.
I have often recommended The Professional Home Energy Audit Guide by David Anderson and The Home Weatherization Inspection Checklist by David Nelmes, for Do it Yourself energy saving audits.
What I have found, while running my own regular audits, is that these two work quite well together to help you find the best path ways to saving energy, and saving money. David Nelmes book helps you find where additional insulation will help you save energy and save money, and David Andersen’s book helps you discover how you and your home consume energy -- and then find good ways to cut back on energy use to save us money.
Both Nelmes and Andersen include information sheets for you fill out for a complete picture of energy use... and energy loss... in your home (this is quite important as you will realize the most savings only when you base your energy saving plans on the realities of YOUR HOME and YOUR LIFE).
Nelmes fact sheets are printed ones that you can print as needed. Andersen’s are computer spreadsheet files. What I have started doing is taking Andersen’s spreadsheet files and ADDING information from Nelmes’ sheets to form a totally complete picture, from the walls and windows in, of each room in the house. Then, I can determine which energy and money saving "fixes" will save me the most money while costing the least. For instance, I’ve already replaced about 80% of the bulbs in my house, inside and out, with energy saving Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs (the remaining 20% are not worth the money to replace, so that will be about it). I’ve been doing this for years, so I can’t really see the savings on my electric bill -- I can estimate, though, that I’m saving about $50 (US) each and every year. I didn’t spend that much for all the CFL bulbs that I have, so I’m way ahead on those. Also, when we had to replace our 18 year old hot water heater last year, I already had an energy saving model in mind, so it was a quick choice and very few cold showers.
My win is that my energy audits show me not only places that I can save energy and save money, but also where things I have been doing for few years have been saving me energy and money all along. Kinda makes you feel good knowing that you have been saving all these years. Nice positive reinforcement for the actions I have taken in the past.
So you definitely want to do your own Home Energy Audits. And, definitely use both The Professional Home Energy Audit Guide by David Anderson and The Home Weatherization Inspection Checklist by David Nelmes. They will make your life easier, and help you save more money!
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