Even if you think you’re already doing everything you can to help the environment, it’s likely there are still some small changes you can make that will shrink your carbon footprint and save you money at the same time. You already know that cutting back on fossil fuels, using more efficient light bulbs, organic gardening (including container gardening for urban homes) and finding creative ways to save energy reduce our impact on the environment and put extra money in your pocket, but did you know having an energy evaluation or audit on your home and garden can help improve energy efficiency and sustainability?
An energy evaluator is an advocate for homeowners who wants to help them make responsible, green choices and save money. A professional evaluator inspects your property for improvements and repairs necessary to increase efficiency rates for energy. Recommendations often lead to rebates and always provide measurable savings on your annual expenses. Every green choice adds benefit and value, no matter how small the change.
Making extensive home and garden improvements can be costly. An audit on your home and garden helps discover changes that bolster sustainability based on your personal lifestyle and needs. For instance, just because you live in a newer home, doesn’t mean you have the most energy-efficient house on the block.
Checking the Inside
Older homes develop minor issues that create large energy bills. Leaking windows, doors that don’t close properly and aging appliances are just three issues found in older homes. New houses aren’t necessarily as well-constructed as older houses, however. Improper joints and poorly installed windows create air leaks, which often lead to allergies and other health issues. These issues also reduce indoor comfort levels. Low-quality wood and other building materials used in some new homes have lower efficiency ratings than natural wood and stone.
Insulation around appliances and in the attic can create potential for inefficient heating and cooling. Insulation is often sloppily installed and, in many cases, missing entirely.
What about outdoors? Are there gardening and composting techniques that can help you eat better, go greener and recycle your kitchen waste? Creating an edible landscape is one way to incorporate plenty of organic greens, have cleaner air and learn how to compost and utilize organic matter more efficiently with tips and techniques given by a green energy evaluator. The video below from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources demonstrates how to compost your kitchen waste.
Edible gardens combine herbs, fruits, trees and vegetables in both traditional and nontraditional designs for your enjoyment. If you need inspiration to get started or additional gardening tips, consider consulting a garden specialist. Garden designers help create outdoor spaces for function, beauty and improved health. Balancing form and function creates a garden that is productive and pleasurable.
Some energy suppliers employ full-time or contract energy evaluators to complete inspections at no cost to customers. Independent evaluator fees vary by region and availability. Homeowners concerned about energy consumption and adopting sustainable practices ought to consider hiring an auditor.
A home audit is just one more tool to lower expenses while keeping an eye on the health of your family and the environment. Have you used an energy auditor? Share your results in the comments.
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