Measuring and Improving Home Energy Consumption Measuring and Improving Home Energy Consumption
With many people struggling over monthly bills, a bigger focus is being placed on home energy consumption. When we are able to see just how much energy we use, we can find ways to save. This helps not just our bills, but the environment as well. Here’s what you can do to measure your energy consumption and start conserving.
Use Online Calculators
The government has set up a great website called Home Energy Saver. This site will have you type in your address and answer about 20 questions about your home and appliances. It will then generate a report showing you where you could be saving the most money. It will also allow you to save your answers so you can go back and compare it to any upgrades or changes you’ve made. The site will show you the savings you can expect in dollars for upgrades and changes you make. You can find this site at https://hes.ibl.gov.
Energy Monitor Kits
Most hardware supply stores will stock several home energy monitor kits. These are simple to install and look similar to a thermostat. The monitors will tell you the overall cost of the energy you’ve consumed, the amount of money you spend per hour, and will show you peak times when your energy consumption is at its highest. Depending on the type you get there may be more bells and whistles. Most monitors will start from $90 and can range up to $400. With a monitor installed you can save quite a bit of money on your energy consumption by recognizing peak times and cutting back on usage.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Even if you can only afford to replace one appliance every few years, upgrading all of your appliances to energy efficient appliances will pay off in the long run. Look for appliances that carry the Energy Star logo. This logo shows that these appliances have been certified efficient. An energy efficient appliance can save as much as 10% on your energy bills. You can find most items you have in your home have an energy star equivalent. Computers, microwaves, and even coffee pots can be found in more efficient models.
Keeping our homes bright and cheery can add up to more money each month on our energy bills. Light bulbs can use more energy than we need. Look to change out your bulbs to more efficient brands. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use much less energy than a standard light bulb. For each bulb you replace you can save $30 a year. This may not seem like a lot until you start counting the number of bulbs you have in your home. These bulbs also last about ten times longer than a standard bulb.
Keep Your Home Sealed
Look at some of the common places where air can escape in your home. Doorknobs, door frames, window frames, and even electrical sockets and plugs can allow air to escape or enter our homes. Look at sealing door frames properly, insulate electrical sockets, and make sure your door knobs are installed properly. This can lower your energy consumption and save valuable money over the course of a year.