I’ve been a part of many campaigns in my 3 years of blogging. Many get-togethers, invitations to special events, contractors working on our house, etc. But I believe I have found my favorite experience yet!!
I know, I know… you aren’t exactly jumping out of your seat with excitement, but I totally wasn’t trying to be sarcastic or funny when I said this was one of my favorite experiences as a blogger. We had our audit done a week and a half ago, and my husband is still raving about it!
Let me hold your hand and walk you through it before you run to the phone to schedule your own. We did our audit through PPL Electric Utilities, our local energy company. Two Energy Auditors arrived at our house, right on time (big old plus for me!) and with smiles on their faces! I’m not usually comfortable with these sorts of situations, so I had scheduled it on a day that my husband didn’t have to work so he could be there with me. Honestly, that was completely unnecessary, because I never felt a moment of discomfort with these guys! In fact, I had to leave for a bit in the middle of it (downside of owning your own business!), and I was actually disappointed I was going to miss out on some things!
The point of the energy audit is to take a look at your specific home and tell you where your house wastes electricity and then offer you customized recommendations to help you save money! Take a look at that picture of my living room. Does anyone see a huge area where we’re wasting electricity? That HUGE window! And we knew this, honest we did. But what do you do when the house that you buy already has a giant window (here and in our daughter’s bedroom)? They gave us a great suggestion of buying insulated drapes! I just like my pretty little patterned ones, but wasn’t thinking that I could buy insulated ones and just put them behind it. Right now, we just have sheers behind them and the sheers are the only thing we close at night. We’d save a ton of wasted energy by having insulated drapes to close off that window in the winter evenings!
The other major test they did was for drafts and my kids were so bummed they missed this once they came home and saw the pictures.
I mean, seriously, how often does your front door look like you’re filming a scene from ET?
Aside from the kids being impressed, though, so was my husband! The auditors set up this fan in the front door, and then were able to use thermal imaging throughout the entire house to find out where drafts and leaks were.
This picture of the thermal imaging gun was taken in the master bathroom – about as far as you can get from the front door in our house!
It definitely found leaks and drafts in places that we expected (i.e. the fireplace, the storage room doors in our loft and one bedroom, the doors that lead to our sunroom), but it also found drafts in some places we weren’t expecting that will be pretty easy to caulk and start saving money. One of the ones we weren’t expecting was around the mantel over our fireplace. We expected the fireplace insert itself to be drafty, but apparently the brick at the top of our fireplace was never caulked. They just put the wooden mantel right on top and a draft has been coming through this whole time! We fixed this issue in about 5 minutes after they left!
While the auditors are there, they fix some things that immediately start saving us money on our monthly bill- insulating pipes, replacing light bulbs, switching to LED nightlights. All of this is included with your energy audit! Then once they leave, they will leave you a comprehensive report on your house. The report goes through your house one area at a time letting you know where your electricity is being used, improvements you can make immediately and what is already being done correctly.
As a family, we’ve been going through their recommendations. We’ve been turning the water off while we’re brushing our teeth, making sure lights and TV’s are turned off when not in use, the kids have been vigilant about putting the draft dodgers back in place after they come through a door. My husband even had my son helping when he went around this weekend and caulked around all the windows! Our whole family uses this house, so the whole family has been working hard to lower our electric bill!
What would this post be if we didn’t wrap it up with a little fun for you?!
Hop over and visit the Project Envolve page where you can learn more about the other bloggers’ experiences with the energy audit. While you’re there, sign up for the Project Envolve newsletter and 3 winners from the mailing list will win a $50 Home Energy Survey! This will include a walk-through evaluation by a certified surveyor and some energy-efficient goodies (note: this is not the same as the energy audit I outlined in my post, but will still get you on your way to saving electricity and money)! Winners must be PPL Electric Utilities customers and must sign up for the mailing list by April 7th at 4:00 p.m. EST.