More and more people are choosing to spend a few hundred dollars to hire a professional energy auditor to conduct a thorough inspection of their home’s energy efficiency. Then, the auditor recommends steps for improvement, which will provide financial savings and possibly health benefits.
Now with Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits: 140 Simple Solutions to Lower Energy Costs, Increase Your Home’s Efficiency, and Save the Environment, by David S. Findley, you can skip the expense of the energy audit from a pro and JUST DO IT.
This latest book in McGraw-Hill’s Green Guru Guides offers complete details on assessing your home’s energy efficiency. It describes simple no- and low-cost measures that can be implemented to identify problems, and that will dramatically increase livability, efficiency, and expendable income each and every year. This book offers the practical tips and projects to make it easy to be green.
“It does not matter if you live in a small apartment or a big mansion — this book is for you,” says David Findley. “The changes shown to you in this book will allow you to reduce your energy usage and increase your savings by at least, on average, 30 percent. My hope is to keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and to help you design and live in the home of your dreams.”
The Green Guru Guides is a series of books I edit that shows the reader how to do a particular task, whether it’s building a new energy-efficient vehicle, greening a particular sector, or greening an entire home. The Green Guru Guides are printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved, acid-free papers containing 100% post-consumer fiber.
Change your air filter regularly
Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.
Seal your heating and cooling ducts
Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.
Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house. See our
Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment
If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, have it evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently nor needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $200. But before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed the big air leaks in your house and the duct system. Sometimes, these are the real sources of problems rather than your HVAC equipment.
Sources: By: Seth Leitman and ENERGY $TAR
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