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Spring Into Energy Savings: How to Do Your Own Energy Audit

High temperatures have already hit us here in Texas. But you can still score bigtime energy savings.

And, you don’t have to hire a professional HVAC service to do a home energy audit. You can easily do your own.

Here’s what you can expect to learn:

Let’s get right into it – because there’s plenty to know:

1. Problem: Strangely High Energy Bill

If anything’s going to get you to take action on doing your own home energy audit, this is it.

If all you know is that your energy bill is way higher than it should be, that’s a difficult point to start from.

But you can absolutely figure out the problems. To pinpoint what the problems could be, simply hook up your appliances and electronics to WiFi-enabled relays that communicate with a home energy monitoring kit. Cisco makes a good one.

You can search and find options for less than $100 at Best Buy, Amazon, or your favorite electronics retailer.

2. Drafty Windows

This should be your next check because it offers your greatest opportunity for savings. You can easily lose 10-25% of your heating or cooling costs to drafty windows.

Simply wait for a windy day, and then close all your windows, and your fireplace damper, if you have one.

Light an incense stick, wave it near each window, and look for disturbance in the smoke trail.

If you see the smoke blowing around, you’ve spotted a leak. Go to the outside of your window, scrape out any dried or old caulk, and replace it with a new bead of caulk.

Use DAP’s Alex Plus, an acrylic latex caulk, for the best results.

3. Optimize Your Water Heater

Water heaters consume around 10 – 15% of your total annual energy bill for the year. So they present a great opportunity for savings.

Plus, it’s super-easy to find problems with your water heater. Simply touch your water heater, and if you feel warmth, you know that your water heater lacks insulation.

Buy a water heater blanket for $10 – $20. Make sure it has an insulating value of at least R-8.

If you want to boost your savings even further, fit foam sleeves or insulating tape around your cold and hot water pipes.

4. Fix Leaky Ductwork

Don’t sweat it! You don’t need to be an HVAC pro to spot leaks in your ductwork.

You can use the aforementioned incense sticks to spot leaks. You can also look at joints in your ductwork and see if dust in the area has been blown away.

There’s only one way that dust can be blown off – via a leak.

To properly seal the leaks, patch small holes or misalignments with a water-based mastic sealant and mesh tape. Use HVAC foil tape to seal joints.

There’s more you could do. But these are your biggest wins. And with the intense heat coming soon, these simple actions easily add up to big savings!

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