An energy audit is an evaluation of your home designed to help assess your energy consumption with a most excellent goal in mind: helping homeowners to achieve environmentally friendly energy efficiency, personal comfort, and cost savings!
As you’re building a picture of the energy use within your home, consider the services of a qualified professional who can look at your home in total from the attic to the appliances. Among the features of a professional audit may be a blower test or thermographic scan.
It’s also possible to complete a mini-version of the professional audit directly and as a homeowner, and potentially with the assistance and support of specialized contractors who can help in areas where additional guidance is needed.
Here are a few ideas to consider…
* Review your energy bills to better understand patterns of energy consumption.
* Include a safety check of systems as each area is evaluated.
* Change your light bulbs. Consider LEDs or energy saving incandescents.
* Explore the idea of a programmable thermostat, and think carefully about your settings for comfort, cost, and efficiency.
* Shop energy efficient appliances if you’re looking to upgrade or replace current systems.
* Understand the proper care and keeping of your HVAC system. Include duct cleaning, and an evaluation of duct systems and connections for leaks. Remember as well to change your filters regularly with filters appropriately designed for and fitted to your home’s system. If you have a service contract, it may be time to schedule the visit of a qualified technician. If you do not have a service contract in place, it may be a great time to consider this option.
* Maintain your water heater with the help of a professional plumber. Consider the age of the system, and the value of an energy efficient replacement. Compare traditional systems with “hot water on demand” options.
* Check for drafts. These are often found at doors and windows. Fresh weather stripping is a relatively easy and affordable fix. If your windows have fogged, and the seals have failed, shop for the best and more efficient replacement options.
* Build energy efficiency into your home’s finishing decor. Shop and compare ideas for insulated cellular shades, shutters, roller or Roman shades, window quilts, window films, reflective glazing or glass, and more.
* Consider your attic for any maintenance, repairs or improvements that might improve energy efficiency.
* If your home uses gas-based systems, be sure you review safety information available from your gas provider, or the Atlanta Gas Light website.
* If you’re planning a home remodeling project, explore options for energy improvement and efficiency alongside design ideas.
Words of caution and helpful reminders…
* If you have questions or concerns, call on your home inspector, an energy auditor and/or a qualified contractor who can help with everything from safety assessments to repair or improvement recommendations. Some evaluations and work projects will call for the attention of one or more licensed professional contractors.
* If you live in a home which is part of a Homeowner’s Association, check the governing documents to be sure any changes you plan to make are in compliance with the community convenants, rules, regulations, and restrictions.
* Some work may require county or municipal permitting. Be sure to check in with local authorities for information, guidance, and instruction.
This is a .gov site with helpful information about energy efficient products, and energy savings for the home.
Check in with Georgia Power for information about their energy services including tips for energy savings, programs and products, and more. If you’re power services are handled by another office such as a more local EMC, that office will also be a great resource to tap for more information and ideas.
Atlanta Gas Light
Analyze your energy use with the online calculator, and browse ideas for home improvements from tankless water heaters to weatherizing.
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