How to Conduct Your Own Home Business Energy Audit

For the past several years there has been more and more attention given to “going green” than at any other time in history. With more tangible data pointing at the negative effects of the greenhouse gases we produce and the real dangers of global warming, there has never been a better time than now to start taking a proactive role in doing something to help our environment.

One of the best ways to get started in helping our environment is to asses exactly where you are right now when it comes to your personal carbon footprint. Knowing where you are now allows you to systematically start finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Conducting your own Home or Home Business Energy Audit can actually be quite easy and is an excellent way for you to find areas where you can also begin to save money. Saving money just happens to be another bi-product of reducing energy usage. Let’s take a minute to look at exactly what an energy audit is and find out just how easy it can be to conduct your own.

First of all, just what exactly is an energy audit? An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output(s). Simply put, an energy audit is a process used to establish how much energy your house or apartment consumes.

With just a bit of information you can easily conduct a preliminary or basic home energy audit all by yourself. With a thorough, yet simple walk-through, anyone can spot many potential problems in almost any type of home. Remember, when auditing your own home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you have found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.

One of the most commonly found sources of lost energy within the home are air leaks or drafts. The potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home can range from 5% to over 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Start with windows and doors. Check for indoor leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the floor and the joints at the walls and ceilings. Always focus on electrical outlets, switch plates, fireplace dampers, attic hatches, and of course all window frames and the weather striping around exterior doors.

Another major culprit contributing to the heat loss in your home comes from a lack of adequate insulation or in some cases non at all. Heat loss through the ceiling and walls in your home can be very large if the insulation levels are less than the recommended minimum. If your home is more than just 10 years old you will want to conduct a thorough inspection of your attic insulation. Make sure the attic is properly vented as adequate air circulation is a crucial component in the overall efficiency of your homes heating air-conditioning and ventilation system (HVAC).

Inspecting the insulation in your walls can sometimes prove to be a bit more challenging than the attic. There are methods of checking wall insulation, including simply finding obscure locations to simply make a whole in the sheet-rock and examine what’s in the wall. Even doing this is not always accurate. Perhaps the most thorough way to inspect wall insulation is to hire a professional energy audit company to conduct a Thermographic Wall Inspection. This is done using an infrared scanning device which measures the amount heat loss within the wall or other building envelops.

Next, take time to inspect your homes heating and cooling equipment on an annual basis or as recommended by the manufacturer. Check and change furnace and A/C filters regularly. When inspecting your HVAC system, focus on the duct work and all air returns and chases. Again, if your home is more than 15 years old, you may consider replacing your HVAC system with a newer more energy efficient one.

Finally, energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your homes electric bill. Make sure to examine the wattage size of the light bulbs around your home. Consider where you can reduce the wattage of the light bulbs you are using and as your bulbs burn out, replace them with the new compact-fluorescent lamps (CFL). Especially in areas where lights remain on for hours at a time.

Remember, make sure to check with your local electric utility company. More and more utility companies are offering rebates and incentives for purchasing and using energy-efficient appliances, lamps and devices. For a complete and professional Home or Home Business Energy Audit, check your local yellow pages. By continuing to stay focused on ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you are also finding ways to save money.

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How to Reduce the Cost of Business Energy

We live in the times of economic turbulence and it is indeed hard for all the industries to survive successfully. In order to make sure your business can be run smoothly, it is important for you to practice “business energy management”. The main purpose of applying this particular management concept is to cut down your business energy bill costs.

Here are some practical ways that will help you to save money:

· Use energy-efficient fluorescent lights

We need lights in office every day. We can’t avoid ourselves from not using lights. Hence, in order to save cost, you are advised to change all the regular bulbs in the office to energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps. This will definitely help you to cut down your utility bills every month. To be frank, if you really want to save a lot of money in the long run, installing a skylight is the best. The natural sunlight will be replacing the regular office lights.

· Switch off all the electrical gadgets after office hour

You don’t need your printers and computers to be switched on when you leave your office, don’t you? In order to cut down your electricity bills, you are reminded to turn off all the electrical gadgets at the end of each working day. By doing so, you are able to conserve energy and at the same time, you help to prevent global warming. Do not leave them on standby mode as these gadgets still consume a little electricity when they are not switched off completely.

· Conduct virtual meetings through internet

With the technology advancement, you can actually communicate with your suppliers, clients and business associates through internet easily. You can save your cost on petrol and air fare by conducting virtual meetings. What you need to do is to purchase a good quality web camera and a set of matching software so that you can conduct all the important meetings through the internet. Besides reducing your telephone bills, you can also save your time on traveling. If you really need to travel from one place to another from your business premise, for instance, going to the banks or to the post offices, you are advised to combine your trips on the same day. It will help you to save on fuel costs. On the other hand, check out cars which consume biodiesel and gasoline. If possible, use these types of cars as they help to reduce your traveling cost a lot.

· Make good use of the technology

Have you ever thought of installing solar panels at your office? These tools are extremely helpful as it cuts down a lot of your operating cost. The solar panels are used to generate the electricity of your premise and they can also be used to heat up the water in the office.

To sum up, I strongly believe that you will be able to reduce your energy costs effectively by applying the great business energy management tips above.

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