You can also do your own energy audit. The two things you want to learn from a home energy audit are what are you using energy on, and how your home loses energy. Then you can focus on cutting back your house’s power consumption and preventing unnecessary energy loss.
In order to check your own energy usage, collect a year’s worth of your utility bills. If you didn’t keep them, your power company can supply you with copies. Review each month, note when your power usage increases, and then figure out why. If you know your power usage spikes in certain months every year, it will help you focus on reducing costs those months.
Next, it’s time to check how much energy your home is losing. This is a much bigger job; it’s really the heart of a home audit, whether you’re doing it yourself, getting a free one from your power company, or hiring a professional home energy auditor.
You might want to use a checklist to keep track of each item you inspect, and also to make notes about what actions you need to consider taking. There are a number of good checklists for doing your own energy audit available online; just type the words, home energy audit checklist, in Google’s search box.
The three main areas you’ll be checking are: the indoor and outside lighting of your home, the amount and type of insulation your house has, and whether there are any cracks you need to seal. If you haven’t already switched to power saving light bulbs such as LED bulbs or CFLs, that’s one area you can immediately save on power. And of course the amount of insulation in your attic, basement, crawl space, and walls has a huge impact on your heating and cooling costs. Finally, sealing all cracks with weather stripping and caulk will further reduce your energy losses and lower your gas and electric bills.