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DIY Energy Auditing: 5 Steps to Lower Energy Bills

An energy auditing service is a great first step to becoming more energy-efficient in your workplace or even in your home. This kind of service is extremely detailed and completely comprehensive, as it covers every aspect of your energy consumption. With an energy audit, you can learn about the various ways you can use energy much more efficiently.

But it won’t hurt if you take baby steps and do some sort of rudimentary energy audit on your own. If you wish to be more energy efficient in your home or workplace, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Keep track of your energy bills. Use a spreadsheet to take note of how much you pay and also how much energy in kilowatt hours you consume each month. If possible, get your old bills and record the info in your spreadsheet. You should then be able to identify your patterns of electricity use, during various months of the year. What’s more, you can notice right away if there’s a spike in your energy usage, or if the cost of electricity suddenly jumps.
  2. Check your lighting setup. As much as much as possible, you should switch to the LED lights. These are more energy-efficient than your average light bulbs. You can also make changes to your lighting setup, such as using only low wattage bulbs in rooms in that receive a lot of sunlight. Then you may also want to change your habits regarding your light usage, such as turning light off when you’re not using them or using timers or smart systems for lights. While all these may seem like inconsequential don’t forget that your lights generally account for about 10% of your energy bills.
  3. Take a good long look at your HVAC system. First of all, if they’re already at least 15 years old, then you need to replace them according to the Department of Energy. They should also be serviced regularly, according to the instructions on your manual. Then you should make sure that you do the maintenance procedures religiously, such changing the air filters. You may also want to think about more efficient settings. For example, setting the air conditioner just a single degree warmer during the summer can lead to significant energy savings.
  4. Check your insulation. Even the best heaters will have a hard time warming up you home if you don’t have adequate insulation. Although a pro can do a better job at this task, there are some steps you can take yourself. You can go up into the attic and see that the insulation covers the joints. Also, you should remove your light sockets and see for yourself if your walls have been insulated.
  5. Find air leaks. You can save anywhere from 5% to 30% from your energy bills simply by reducing the drafts in your home. Also, this makes things more comfortable for you. So check your door frames, wall and ceiling junctures, and baseboard gaps for air leaks. Then seal them immediately.

There’s really no replacement for the energy auditing that a professional can do. In the meantime, these simple steps can go a long way in cutting down your energy bills.