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How to Conduct a Home Energy Assessment

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Outlet Conserving energy in your home is a big step to take toward improving its carbon footprint, and the monetary savings can be life-changing. By starting small, making the necessary progress towards home energy efficiency doesn’t have to be intimidating. According to EnergyStar, the average family spends $1,900 a year on utilities, but about $600 of that energy is wasted. By far, the biggest source of energy waste is leakage, especially from air ducts. Performing a home energy audit will determine the places your home is leaking the most energy.

Your Audit: The simplest way to discover where you stand on energy usage is by comparing your energy bill to another house similar to yours. EnergyStar’s Home Energy Yardstick will also recommend energy-saving home improvements.

Preventing Leaks: Air sealing is simply using caulk, spray foam, or pieces of rigid foam insulation to cover or seal holes, cracks, and gaps where air can pass into or out of your home. Locating and fixing these air leaks can reduce energy savings by up to 30%.

According the Energy Information Administration’s 2009 Annual Energy Outlook Report, “residential electricity use has increased by 23% over the past decade, as efficiency improvements have been more than offset by increases in air conditioning use and the introduction of new applications”. Besides air sealing, there’s a lot more you can do to reverse these facts. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for more home energy audit tips.


For more environmentally forward advice from RTM, visit our Earth Tones section.


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