When to Hire a Professional
If you're not sure whether you should conduct your home energy audit
by yourself or whether you should hire a contractor, you might want to look at this video
. For example, if your home energy issues are complicated, if you can't crawl into your problem areas or if you want to use advanced technologies to pinpoint your needs, then you should consider a professional home energy audit. On the other hand, if you've got confidence in your abilities and you're ready to tackle it yourself, let's get started!
Locate Your Air Leaks
Depending on the age of your home, you could enjoy home energy savings of 5% to 30% per year
on your overall energy bill by simply reducing the drafts in your home. Check your windows, doors, chimneys, attic hatches and even your electrical outlets. If you'd like to see a demo of how to check for drafts, you can look at this video
. Once you find your problem areas, you can use the products below to create the solutions.
Discover Your Insulation Needs
If you have an older home, chances are that you need more insulation. But finding out how much
more can be difficult, especially in your walls. A thermal leak detector
can find insulation "soft spots" around electrical outlets, recessed lighting and floor molding, but only a professional can give you a complete and expert assessment of your entire home. For best results, ask a professional
for a free inspection and analysis. Find out more at Insulation Tips
Inspect Your HVAC System
Heating and cooling your home accounts for approximately half of the energy you use
. So, since you're doing your home energy audit, this would be a perfect time to have a professional
come out, tune up your HVAC system and see if it's still operating at peak efficiency. However, if your unit is over 10 years old, you might consider upgrading to a new ENERGY STAR®
system, which could save you hundreds of dollars
on your annual energy bill. Increase your home energy savings by finding out more about HVAC Maintenance Tips
Analyze Your Lighting Design
This is an easy series of do-it-yourself tasks. First, check to see where you can use daylighting
to replace artificial lighting in your home. Second, see where you can switch to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), because they use only 25% to 30% of the energy used
by incandescent light bulbs. Third, learn about lighting design
to improve the quality and efficiency of your lighting. And finally, see where you can set up automatic controls to turn off your lights when you're not there. Learn more at the Upgrade to Energy Saving Lighting
Install a Whole House Energy Monitor
Once you've conducted your own home energy audit or had a contractor come in for a professional audit, you'll have the home energy saving ideas you need to start making improvements. But before you do, you should consider installing a whole house energy monitor
. It's a device that can display real-time usage numbers based on a signal it receives from the electricity meter. This is helpful because, as you make each improvement, you can see the difference it makes in kilowatt hours, as well as in dollars and cents.
Find a Professional Energy Auditor
If you decide to hire a professional home energy auditor, we'd be happy to make some suggestions. In fact, the professionals that we recommend are some of the top experts in their field. What's more, when it comes to your energy problems, they have the experience, specialized skills and high-tech tools to give you the most accurate and detailed analysis. Just visit the Brighten® Preferred Provider Network
to find a company near you.