Saving Money: The Home Energy Saver

By
Home Inspector with National Property Inspections

Saving money by reducing home energy costs just makes good sense. I follow home energy saving tips sent by my local utility. I change my furnace filters regularly. I recently installed a high-efficiency air conditioning unit. I decreased the temperature of my hot water heater, and I installed programmable thermostats on each level of my home so that the house doesn't get heated or cooled simply for the sake of the cat when I am at work.

From there I was a little stumped. Trying to figure out what energy saving tips worked in my home was baffling. Did I need more insulation? Some type of barrier? New windows? Or was it the doors that posed my biggest concern? As it turned out, the federal government offers a FREE solution that can help answer these questions -- the Home Energy Saver. The website asks for a bunch of information about your home, including the number of windows and doors, the type and depth of insulation and specific information on the age and condition of appliances. If you take the time to answer the questions, the site will reward you with detailed information based on your own zip code about what options to consider. It even lists the number of years it would take to recoup the money spent on energy efficient appliances today.

Now, the Home Energy Calculator asks a lot of questions. According to the website, it can take from 10 minutes to an hour to fill out the form. They also provide a checklist of questions you can take with you around the house to help you collect the necessary information. However, you might just have a great guide to help you get started tucked away in a file cabinet with the rest of the information you collected when purchasing the home. Remember your home inspection? When you bought the home you may have walked through with the inspector discussing maintenance items, you may even have requested a few things fixed prior to closing. Either way, for a few hours, that inspection report contained information you needed to make a confident purchasing decision. Now, it's gathering dust. Take it out. If it's been a few years, consider have the house reinspected if things have changed. If not, you can use the report to answer many of the questions asked in the Home Energy Saver calculator. Perhaps you can involve the kids in sort of a household scavenger hunt to find the rest of the answers you need.

A home inspection professional, including those from National Property Inspections, can provide you with a thorough, detailed, visual inspection of hundreds of components of your home. Having a home inspected can be useful during the sale of the home, but a little added information can save you a bundle on home energy costs as well.

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