Calculating your energy use
The first step to saving energy and money through a whole-house efficiency approach is to pinpoint the areas in your house that use the most energy. This can be done through a home energy audit, which can be conducted by yourself, your local utility, or an independent energy auditor.
An energy audit involves checking insulation levels; seeking out any holes, gaps or crevices in your walls, windows, doors, and ceilings that can leak air into our out of your home; assessing the amount of upkeep and maintenance that your appliances and heating and cooling systems are receiving; and studying your family's energy use patterns, especially in high use areas such as the kitchen or living room.
After assessing the areas where your home is losing energy, ideas for cost-effective energy improvements will be much easier to navigate and act on.