If you’re concerned about heating your home this winter, take a little time and do an energy audit. The U.S. Department of Energy makes it easy for you to perform your own, by providing an online tool that shows how your home stacks up, compared to others in the area. By plugging in some specifics, the tool tells your rating on the energy-efficiency scale, and then suggests ways to lower your energy bills.
You’ll need to gather your gas or oil and electric bills for a year. The database requires both the dollar amount you’ve spent and the total kilowatts, gallons or therms you’ve used. You’ll also need your ZIP code and the square footage of your home. Once you put the data into the form, a new screen will appear that tells you how your home rates compared to others in your ZIP code.
A yardstick appears that has an arrow at the top to show you exactly how efficiently you use energy. A few fields lie below the arrow that can help you improve your energy efficiency, based on the types of heating and cooling equipment you use and your water heater. After you select them, the site will then take you to a new screen that offers ways to increase your energy efficiency, such as sealing air leaks, adding insulation to your attic, and replacing your water heater with an Energy Star certified appliance when you need to.
The goal of energy audits is to cut down on your energy consumption. The Department of Energy reports that heating or cooling your home and heating water are the major energy consumers in your home. Besides sealing the leaks and replacing the equipment, having these appliances serviced regularly will go a long way toward lowering your energy consumption. Draining a few gallons of water from your water heater several times a year; changing the air filter for your furnace or A/C are easy to do, and will lower your energy bills and increase equipment life.
If you would like to learn more about energy audits and your HVAC equipment, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for the Kansas City metro area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock