EBook Excerpt: The Professional Home Audit

Here is the last in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula

Even if you are a seriously dedicated DIY (do it yourself) enthusiast, you are best served in the long-run by hiring a professional to perform a home audit. A well-done audit requires special knowledge and skills, and even some special equipment.

Special recommendation: check with your local utility provider to see what audit services it provides or recommends. Often your local utility will offer a free home audit (mine does). If so, this is a great way to get a start on improving the energy and water efficiency of your home without spending a dime out-of-pocket.

A high-quality auditor will visit the location and do a complete and formal inspection of the property. They might request utility bills from the previous year, and they will assess each and every system and appliance in the home. Their goal will be to show the homeowner how to reduce the costs permanently while also making the home much greener. Remember, this is not some sort of mold or toxin inspection, or some other form of home inspection, for that matter. It is simply an energy usage assessment, which will involve a look at everything from doors and windows to light bulbs and caulking. Continue reading “EBook Excerpt: The Professional Home Audit”

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EBook Excerpt: Week 1 – Doing Your Green Home Audit

Here is the next in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula

How to Get Started

First, look around your home for places where is energy being wasted. You will probably find numerous places where energy is being consumed unnecessarily in your home every day. Most are common sense once you see them, but probably escaped your attention before you looked more closely.

Consider the following three examples:

1) Stop drafts. Drafts around windows and under doors allow heat to escape in the winter and hot air to enter in the summer. These areas can be sealed to reduce those energy losses by purchasing weather stripping at your local hardware store for a few dollars.

2) Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use about 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. CFLs also give off a lot less heat, keeping your rooms cooler in the summer. Continue reading “EBook Excerpt: Week 1 – Doing Your Green Home Audit”

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EBook Excerpt: Week 1 – Conducting a Home Audit

Here is the next in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula

For the first week, we will tackle the biggest energy consumer in most people’s lives – their home. As noted in the previous chapter, it is such things as heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, electronics, appliances, and refrigeration that gobble up dollars and electricity.

Here, in descending order of piggishness in consuming electricity, are the three biggest energy hogs in most homes in the developed world:

  1. Air Conditioning: Far and away your biggest energy consumer if you have and use AC.
  2. Refrigerator: Second biggest energy hog in the home, right behind the AC, largely because it has to run 24/7.
  3. Washers and Dryers: For clothes, the impact is much larger than for dishes, although both contribute.

We need to deal with these and other consumers of energy in the home. We also want to reduce water usage.

But how do you get started?

By conducting a home energy and water audit. Continue reading “EBook Excerpt: Week 1 – Conducting a Home Audit”

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