These days, everyone seems to be looking for ways to save some money. Well, you’ve got easy and often very affordable (or even free!) ways to do that right in your own home. By conducting a do-it-yourself energy audit, you can assess how much energy your home consumes and figure out what you might be able to do to make it even more energy efficient.
You might be thinking, “I just moved into a brand new home. Isn’t it already as energy efficient as possible?” You are partially right – the house is well built with new windows and doors that shouldn’t have air leaks and probably came with EnergyStar rated appliances. However, there are still things you can do on your own to maximize your savings.
Is your home lit up like a Christmas tree year round? Take a look at where you have placed lighting and decide if you really need a high wattage bulb in that spot? You can save by switching to a low-watt bulb. If you have an area that is lit up a great deal of time, consider changing the regular bulbs out for CFLs – this can save up to 75% of lighting energy.
Do you keep your thermostat at a constant temperature all day and night or do you make adjustments for night time or trips? By regularly lowering your thermostat by 10 degrees (F), you could reduce your heating bill by 10-20%.
Have you checked to see what the temperature is set to on your refrigerator? The optimal setting is between 37 and 40 degrees (F). And did you know that by keeping a well stocked refrigerator, it will use less energy – it takes more energy to cool an empty fridge.
What about those toaster ovens or your fancy new microwave? Give them a workout and save money by not using the oven for smaller items.
Do you have a beautiful wood-burning fireplace in your new home? You’ve got money going up the flue if you’re not making sure that the damper is closed tightly.
These are examples of a few things you can do, even in a new home. For a host of other ways to evaluate and conserve your home energy, check out this piece by the EnergyIdeas Clearinghouse – there are tons of great tips and resources.