Time for a Home Energy Audit?

by Guest Blogger, Drew Griffin

As parents of three young girls, my wife and I often have discussions family related topics. Recently, topics revolve around finances and bills. Keeping an eye on where we are spending money has been something at the forefront of our minds recently with the escalating costs of gasoline and fuel. It has certainly affected our lifestyle and how we work. We can also see the rising costs of other goods and services that are mostly likely due to the rising costs of fuel.

My wife and I have worked in Health Care facilities within about 40-50 miles of our home. We have seen a significant increase in the amount we are spending in fuel to get to and from work. The strain on our wallet and bank accounts has forced us to be much more mindful of becoming more efficient with our traveling by taking into consideration measures to limit idling, being mindful of optimal speeds, and car maintenance.

I’ve started a business outside of my full time job that will hopefully replace our need of having to commute as much as we do to our jobs. Most of that business is digital in nature and requires little or no paper. (That’s a post for another time)

I have to admit, when I was younger and before I met my wife, I was ignorant and quite wasteful when it came to energy conservation. Some of the things I’ve become better at but still need to work on when it comes to saving energy include:

  • Turning the lights off, when not in use
  • Turning the water off, while brushing my teeth or washing hands
  • Limiting the use of air-conditioning when the weather is cool enough to open the windows
  • Air drying laundry (especially the beach towels in the summer)
  • Recycling of plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum cans

These areas are things that we can all do in our daily lives that would have a cumulative effect. I’m sure there are more things that I can do to better be more energy resourceful. Perhaps opening my eyes to the benefits of doing a little bit more, a little more consistently can have a positive effect on our finances and on the environment.

One goal that I’d like to implement is something I learned about while visiting my in-laws while we were in Sun City, Florida. I noticed that many of the home in the community had water barrels along the outside their homes. These water barrels collected run off rainwater into the barrels. This water could then be used to water plants and vegetation around the home.

This is a simple investment that could easily be installed on most homes and help collect rain water that can be used efficiently to water plants, gardens and more in times when precipitation has been low. Instead of utilizing public water to do this type of watering, savings could be realized in resources and finances.

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