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Published November 02, 2009, 08:32 AM

Cold Season Savings Tip: Home energy audit

(WDAY TV) - You wouldn't let your money just blow away in the wind, so don't let it leak out of your house either. In the first of a series of Cold Season Savings Tips, what you can do as winter approaches to lessen the bills that come with it by potentially hundreds of dollars.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - You wouldn't let your money just blow away in the wind, so don't let it leak out of your house either. In the first of a series of Cold Season Savings Tips, what you can do as winter approaches to lessen the bills that come with it by potentially hundreds of dollars.

In order to make your home as energy efficient as possible, it's good to get to know it. An energy audit, starting with pressurizing your home, will tell you how much energy your house is using and should be using based on state standards. You'll also learn where some of it's wasted

The affect is kind of like blowing up a balloon and then looking for air holes. That means Carl Pedersen, an energy expert with NDSU Extension Service, can find some problem areas, just by walking around.

“Can actually see, feel air draft on back of my hand.”

Pedersen says energy audits reveal an average of 30 percent potential savings per house. If your energy bill is 15-hundred dollars a year, that means 450 dollars in annual savings.

“They’ll tell you this is the first thing you should do to save you the most amount of money.”

Once the drafts are discovered, Peterson looks for other trouble spots with his infrared camera. Cool or moist areas look darker.

“See around that door, those are air leaks.”

Cold spots mean there's a leak; moisture means insulation's been compromised. In either case, you're paying more to heat your home, an audit helps you prioritize what to fix.

“You don't want to pay more for a measure that's not going to pay itself off in energy savings.”

The goal is to keep your home and your heat bill, chill free. If you don't want to do a full blown energy audit, you can get a checklist and borrow an infrared thermometer from your local county Extension Service.

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