October marks the beginning of Energy Awareness Month, and Allconnect has collected some great tips for determining your household’s energy usage and our website is a great resource for comparing home service rates. As any homeowner or renter knows, appliances, lights, air conditioning/heating and electronics use large amounts of energy. To get the best energy rates for your area, check out Allconnect’s utility comparisons, especially for natural gas needs. (Note: Allconnect does not service utilities in all regions. Check the website for your area.)
One of the first steps to taking control of your energy usage is to perform an energy audit of your household. Energy audits help you visualize where your energy (and money) is being spent — whether it’s appliances, air conditioning or lights. The U.S. Department of Energy lists whole-household audits as one of the best ways to start to take control of your energy usage. For free audit calculators and tools, visit the U.S Department Energy’s website or Residential Energy Services Network.
Heating and cooling typically accounts for the majority of energy usage in most households. To reduce your heating and cooling usage, the Department of Energy suggests checking for drafty windows and doors, holes in the walls, doors, windows or around light fixtures or plumbing, and checking the insulation levels in the attics, basements, walls and crawl spaces. In addition to checking for leaking air, make sure your appliances are working properly by reviewing the maintenance schedule for each appliance, such as refrigerator, air conditioning, heater and oven. Beyond checking for drafts and the appliances, it’s important to review your light usage to reduce excess energy use. Check to see if natural light is an option and always make sure to turn off lights when you leave a room.
After the energy audit is complete, you and your family can discuss easy ways to reduce your overall energy usage. Sometimes it’s as simple as unplugging an appliance, such as a toaster or microwave, when it’s not in use, or opening the blinds to make use of natural light. Other ways may be harder to adjust to like setting the thermostat warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter, but in the end you — and your wallet — will be thankful.
Visit the ENERGY STAR website for more ways to get involved in Energy Awareness Month.
Allconnect is a free online resource to review and compare the costs and choices for essential home services, including utilities, high speed Internet, phone, cable TV, satellite TV, and home security systems.