If you still have a dollar to your name after a rough (at times too rough!) shopping weekend, you might want to take a look at this nifty info-graphic which helps explains an average household’s energy use, and naturally where the rest of the money goes!
High on the list of energy use in a home is, as it might be expected, heating and hot water. Cooling is up there as well. It does depend on where you live as to which is a bigger drain on your finances but this is precisely the reason we spend so much time talking about and fixing, these areas.
Appliances are a much smaller part of the overall picture, but not to be ignored, of course. If part of your Black Friday battle included fist-fighting (whew, there was some craziness out there—sort of reminds me of that zombie discussion last month!) for a brand new Energy Star dishwasher, more power to you. It may even have been worth it if what you had was over ten years old.
Clearly as the picture suggests, heating and cooling equipment—that is your furnace, air-conditioner, or heat pump—should be in top notch shape performing their best if you are going to avoid burning money. But what if the attic insulation doesn’t keep the heat in? What if the duct work leaks and pumps conditioned air into the great outdoors? What this picture tells me is that the important things in a home are being warm or cool, having hot water when we want it, the creature comforts.
You can buy the best coffee maker in the world to make a great cup of coffee, but a cracked cup with a hole in it won’t keep the coffee around or warm long enough for you to enjoy it. Homes can just be like that. Consider a gift for you and your family this season, one without the bruises or pepper spray dangers of holiday shopping, a comprehensive home assessment so you know where it all goes and can do something about it!