ENERGY SAVERS - Pat Wattam

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ENERGY SAVERS - Pat Wattam

Your Home’s Energy Use2Your Home’s Energy UseThe first step to taking a wholehouseenergy efficiencyapproach is to find out which partsof your house use the most energy.A home energy audit will pinpointthose areas and suggest the mosteffective measures for cutting yourenergy costs. You can conduct asimple home energy audit yourself,contact your local utility, or call anindependent energy auditor for amore comprehensive examination.For more information about homeenergy audits, including free tools andcalculators, visit www.energysavers.gov or www.natresnet.org.Refrigeration8%Appliances9%Computers &Electronics9%Lighting11%Other8%WaterHeating12%SpaceHeating31%SpaceCooling12%How We Use Energy in Our HomesHeating accounts for the biggest chunk ofa typical utility bill.Source: 2007 Buildings Energy Data Book, Table 4.2.1.,2005 energy cost data.Energy Auditing Tips• Check the insulation levels in yourattic, exterior and basement walls,ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.Visit www.energysavers.gov forinstructions on checking yourinsulation levels.• Check for holes or cracks aroundyour walls, ceilings, windows,doors, light and plumbing fixtures,switches, and electrical outletsthat can leak air into or out of yourhome.• Check for open fireplace dampers.• Make sure your appliances and heatingand cooling systems are properlymaintained. Check your owner’smanuals for the recommendedmaintenance.• Study your family’s lighting needsand use patterns, paying specialattention to high-use areas such asthe living room, kitchen, and outsidelighting. Look for ways to use lightingcontrols—like occupancy sensors,dimmers, or timers—to reduce lightingenergy use, and replace standard(incandescent) light bulbs and fixtureswith compact or standard fluorescentlamps.Formulating Your PlanAfter you have identified where yourhome is losing energy, assign prioritiesby asking yourself a few importantquestions:• How much money do you spend onenergy?• Where are your greatest energy losses?• How long will it take for aninvestment in energy efficiency to payfor itself in energy cost savings?• Do the energy-saving measuresprovide additional benefits thatare important to you (for example,increased comfort from installingdouble-paned, efficient windows)?• How long do you plan to own yourcurrent home?• Can you do the job yourself orwill you need to hire a contractor?• What is your budget and howmuch time do you have to spend onmaintenance and repair?17736_bklet 2 10/23/08 7:37:06 PM

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