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How to conduct a DIY home energy audit

Looking for more ways to save on power?

A DIY energy audit can help you get a better understanding of how much energy your home is using and pinpoint areas where you can improve efficiency. The result? Less energy waste, a lower carbon footprint and more money in your pocket when the time comes to pay your power bill.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a DIY energy audit in your home.

Find and fix leaks

Heating accounts for about a third of a household’s annual energy consumption in New Zealand. Insulation helps your home to more effectively maintain a comfortable temperature and allows your heating and cooling appliance to function more efficiently - both of which can help you save on your power bill.

With this in mind, the first step in your DIY energy audit is to track down any holes, cracks or gaps in your home. These air leaks not only let the cold outside air into your home, but they also allow your indoor air to escape.

Feel for draughts around your windows, pipes, and doors and seal up any holes you find with an appropriate sealant from your local hardware store. When the time comes to renovate, be sure to replace any draughty windows and doors, and invest in double glazed glass to further boost the insulation of your home.

Check your lights and fittings

The next stop on your DIY energy audit is your lighting. About 12 percent of your household’s energy consumption goes towards lighting up your home, which means that finding more efficient lighting alternatives can have a pretty significant impact on your power bill.

Go through your rooms one at a time and look at your light bulbs. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, now is the time to change them. Changing your light fittings to more energy-efficient such as LED lighting can boost the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your carbon footprint. LEDs are just as bright as your regular old incandescent bulbs but require about 80 percent less energy and last about 15 times longer.

LEDs might cost slightly more up front than incandescent bulbs, but their impressive efficiency and durability ensure that you’ll recoup your money many times over.

Service your heating systems

When it comes to energy-efficient heating solutions, it’s hard to beat a heat pump. But to keep your heat pumps ticking over smoothly and performing at their best, it’s important to keep them properly maintained and service them on a regular basis.

Can’t remember the last time you inspected your heating system? Let’s change that. Take a look at your heat pump and clean out any dust, grime and debris that might have accumulated in your air filters. These contaminants restrict air flow, essentially forcing your heat pump to work harder and consume more power than it needs to.

Once you’re finished with your indoor unit, head outside and inspect your heat pump’s outdoor unit (sometimes referred to as a ‘condenser’). The unit should be free of obstructions, so remove any clutter from the vicinity and trim back any vegetation that might have grown too close to the unit.

Insulation

Home insulation helps to improve energy efficiency by reducing the amount of heat that is lost from a building in the winter and preventing heat from entering the building in the summer. The better insulated your home is, the more efficiently your heating and cooling appliances can function - and the less you’ll spend on power.

Depending on how your home is designed, retrofitting insulation can be a bit tricky - but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You might not be able to peer inside your walls, but your ceilings and floors might be accessible via a ceiling hatch, attic ladder, or crawl space beneath the house.

Grab a torch and look for any gaps in insulation coverage. Any holes that you discover should be filled with quality insulation - have a chat your local hardware store for more information.

Talk to Pulse Energy

A DIY home energy audit can help you discover new ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home and save you money on your power bill.

Looking for more ways to save on power? Maybe it’s time to make the switch to Pulse Energy. Give us a call today on 0800 785 733 or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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