Conservation: The Least Sexy and Most Important Home Energy Tip

June 11th, 2010 by admin Leave a reply »
Home energy usage pie chart

Home energy is broken into seven major components and a catchall other.

Until you’ve conserved your home energy’s use through proper insulation, lighting, appliances, water heating, HVAC, air leakage sealing, and water usage, don’t even consider renewable energy.

Conserve what you’re using, and thus use less.  What if every home could conserve 20% less energy?

Here’s a good place to start learning about your home’s energy usage. The pie chart shows how we use energy in our homes, with heating accounting for the largest part of a typical home utility bill.

The U.S. Department of Energy gives some ideas for a home energy audit to determine the efficiency of your home’s energy usage. Company’s exist that perform home energy audits, and there are also government-backed utility companies performing simplistic energy audits as well. You’ll have to decide which is right for you, but the more data you have, the better decisions you can make.

My one piece of advice is to beware what services the company doing the audit offers. For instance, a home energy audit from a window replacement company will most likely identify windows as the cause of energy loss. And an HVAC company will more likely identify a replacement furnace as the solution. Look for a company with a comprehensive audit and that either offers no services or all services equally.

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