Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Perform Your Own Home Energy Audit To Help Trim Your Utility Expenses

This post was originally published in July 2009.

Our utility bills account for about 10% of our total household budget. I'm not sure how that compares to everyone else, but there has got to be some room to reduce those expenses.

With clipboard in hand, I recently did a walk-thru of our house and performed my own home energy and utility audit. I was looking for things that needed repaired, replaced, and reduced, hoping that I would also find some savings as well. This is what I found, in no particular order.

1. Replace more bulbs with CFLs that are energy-star rated.

2. Unplug the old refrigerator in our basement.

This fridge came with the house and our house was built in 1969. Who knows how old it is, but I'm thinking that it does not have an energy-star rating, LOL. Not only is the fridge in the basement, but it is in my husband's workshop in the basement, so I honestly forgot about it. We used it in the past as a second fridge for beer, drinks, perishable stock-pile, but we acquired another fridge from my parents that I put in the garage for the same use. That fridge in newer, more efficient and in a more convenient location. We DO use it, otherwise I would not have accepted it. BUT I forgot about this lonely old fridge and it has been running, unused and empty for about a year...OUCH.

This can be checked off the list as complete!

3. Reduce the water flow in the toilet in our half bath. It is an old toilet and the water level seems so full compared to our new toilet in our full bath.

4. Schedule a service appointment for the central air conditioner & Replace air filter. It has been several years and we have a very old unit. It has only been turned on twice this summer for about two days each time, but when it has been on it seems to run A LOT. Thankfully, it has been a mild summer in the northeast so far. (Fast forward to 2010 and it has been running all summer with the temperature firmly planted at 95, but it is still working. The service guy told me the unit was at least 15 years old and probably has 2-3 years left in it.)

5. What temperature should our water heater be at? I have no idea. I will have to research and look for the dish washer manual. (2010 - Still have no idea. I forgot about this one and will look into.)

6. Unplug the televisions in our living room and basement. We hardly ever use them, so it shouldn't be difficult to keep them unplugged.

Have you done a walk-thru lately of your home? What have you found?

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  1. I have most of our lamps & electronics plugged into a surge protector and keep it switched off. I saw a 15% decrease in my electric bill after I did that.

  2. You really can make a big difference, especially Energy Star appliances!

  3. Great comments. Especially about reducing the water in the toilet bowl. Thanks for sharing.

  4. So funny! I was reading through and thinking how does she not use the AC? Then I realized that statement was not for this year! LOL! It has been so hot this summer.

    Great tips!

  5. The energy star does make a big difference, doesn't it?

    Stop on over to my blog, Free 2 Be Frugal, sometime and see how our family saves money!

  6. this is the way a blog should be! thanks!


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