If you recently received a higher-than-expected heating bill, odds are you are looking into different ways to achieve energy savings. Many exist, and a new online tool allows you to find them more easily than ever: the Home Energy Yardstick from the federal Energy Star program.
With this simple online tool, you can compare the amount of energy used in your Portland-area home to that of similar homes. You just need five minutes and the following items:
- Your utility bills for 12 months prior to last month; the Home Energy Yardstick uses weather data in its calculations and cannot do so for the current or previous month. For example, if using the tool in January of 2012, you would need bills covering December 2010 through November 2011. You can choose to use your annual cost or monthly, but Energy Star recommends taking the time to enter monthly costs for the most accurate assessment and for the most helpful suggestions in terms of energy savings.
- A list of the energy sources for your home. For example, in addition to electricity, do you have natural gas, fuel oil, propane, coal, wood and/or kerosene? Of those, note the two you use most.
- The square footage of your home, including a basement if applicable.
You will enter the above information into the Home Energy Yardstick tool, along with your ZIP code and the number of people living in your home. After you click “Submit,” the tool will return your assessment and provide guidance on how to achieve energy savings through improvements typical for homes in your area.
Many of the recommendations will require the expertise of a heating and air conditioning professional. You may simply need a tuneup of your heating system, or the Energy Star website might suggest you upgrade to a high-efficiency system that can provide significant energy savings.
For all of your HVAC needs, contact the friendly experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical today!