October is National Energy Awareness Month and as we head into cooler temps, it’s a great time to be energy aware. Identifying and addressing areas of energy inefficiency in your home can help you control your energy spend and save money! Check out these steps to becoming more energy aware:
Consider a home energy audit
One of the best ways to assess the energy efficiency of your home is with a home energy audit. An audit can be done by a professional for the most complete evaluation or you can complete a do-it-yourself audit without the extra cost.
A home energy audit is a thorough, room-by-room examination of your home, pinpointing energy inefficiencies and providing an illustration of your home’s energy use. Making upgrades based on the results can not only save you money, but also help keep your home more comfortable all year long.
Get started by following these tips
Make a list – When walking through your home, keep a checklist of what you have inspected and what needs to be fixed.
Look for air leaks – Check for indoor and outdoor leaks, such as gaps around windows, doors, trim, baseboard, recessed light fixtures, ceiling junctures, electrical outlets, fireplace dampers and plumbing fixtures. Most air leaks are an easy fix with caulk and weather-stripping. Be sure to think about ventilation when sealing leaks. Learn more about ventilation here.
Check your insulation – If your home has insufficient insulation, heat loss through the ceiling and walls could be significant.
Review your lighting – When doing your walk-through, note the types of light bulbs in your home. Consider replacing inefficient bulbs with energy-saving LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps. Lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill, so small changes can make a big impact.
Consider your electronics and appliances – How you use appliances and devices, and the types you have, significantly impacts your energy use. You can estimate the use of your appliances here once you examine them. A few ideas for increasing energy efficiency in this area are:
Adjusting settings or using the item less often
Unplugging electronics when not in use
Upgrading to new, energy efficient products
Assess heating and cooling equipment – HVAC equipment should be inspected annually or as suggested by the manufacturer. Check the filters and replace them at the recommended cadence and have a professional clean your equipment once a year.
Determine what should or can be upgraded – Now that you’ve completed your assessment and prioritized what issues may need to be addressed, determine what should and can be done to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Measure your carbon footprint
Measuring your carbon footprint is a great way to assess your home’s energy usage. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator that allows you to calculate your own carbon footprint and create a strategy to decrease it! Using the calculator is simple, requires only a few pieces of information, and presents examples of how reducing your greenhouse gas emissions impacts the environment and could help you save.
Where can I find energy-efficient products?
AEP Energy Reward StoreSM is our one-stop online marketplace filled with a variety of energy-saving and connected-home products available exclusively for our valued customers. It is a simple and convenient way for you to shop for items to make your home more energy efficient while saving you time and money. You can earn Reward Dollars to use in Reward Store by enrolling in an AEP Energy price plan.
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Fall is a great time to start thinking about your home energy usage. It’s also the ideal time to identify and prioritize possible problem areas and consider the need for making necessary home improvements so you have control of your energy spend before cold weather arrives. One of the first steps to assessing your homes …
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