Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

A Summer Energy Audit Can Save You Money!

6/22/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: energy audit, home energy audit, energy leaks, utility bills

Yesterday was the first day of summer, and homeowners in many regions are already feeling the scorching summer temperatures and are cranking up their air conditioning units. 

Summer is a great time for an energy audit. Leaky windows, inefficient lighting, poor insulation and inefficient cooling keep your energy bills sky-high.  If you haven’t performed (or hired someone to perform) a summer energy audit, you can do it yourself, or in many cases public utility companies offer free or low-cost audits.  

Incandescent light bulbs emit heat and use more electricity than efficient lighting—in fact, 90 percent of the energy used by a standard light bulb is given off as heat. Although that heat is minimal, it could cause you to crank the AC down a few degrees, which could lead to an energy-spending spree. Energy-efficient lighting options include light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which don’t emit nearly as much heat. These choices (especially LEDs) can be more expensive, but they last longer than traditional bulb. Their longer lives and reduced energy use can make up the cost difference. 

Poorly insulated pipes and walls also contribute to energy loss. In 2005 a study estimated that 65 percent of the homes in the United States had poor insulation. When installing insulation, opt for one with a high R-value. You can determine R-value by multiplying the insulation’s by the number of inches installed. 

Check your insulation when you perform your summer energy audit. Photo by thingermejig/Courtesy Flickr 

Find air leaks near older windows, electrical outlets, baseboards, fireplaces, pipes, mail slots, foundation and doors. By minimizing drafts, you could reduce energy savings 5 to 30 percent annually. Single-pane and other inefficient windows usually result in lots of energy loss; changing out old windows for double-pane, energy-efficient ones can save money and energy. 

Inefficient air conditioning units can also result in energy loss if not maintained well. Clean filters once a month or every other month, depending on use. Typically, cleaner equipment runs more efficiently. Replace filters as needed, especially if you use it frequently. 

With all the money you can save by simply tightening up your home and doing a little maintenance, you can enjoy summer even more.

Related Content

Home Energy Audits: Have You Had One?

Have you had a home energy audit done before? A home energy audit can show you the best ways to make...

Weatherize Your Home, Collect Stimulus Money

Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of e...

2010 Predictions: Smaller, Smarter, Greener Homes

For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and cr...

Spring Energy Audit

An energy audit can help the homeowner determine the best strategies for improving the home's energy...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.