Rural Missouri - May 2020 - 16

GAIN INSIGHTS FROM ENERGY AUDITS
Sometimes it pays to get the big picture, so when it
comes to energy efficiency and getting real value for
your home improvement dollars, professional advice
is a good place to start.
Your local electric cooperative may be able to recommend professionally trained energy advisors who
can conduct comprehensive assessments and provide
recommendations that could help you control energy
costs and improve comfort.
Energy audits include examination of heating, cooling and water heating equipment, as well as interior
and exterior lighting. Other available services can
include inspections and assessments of windows,
crawl spaces and other voids for air leaks, which can
degrade HVAC performance.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a professional energy auditor will review
monthly, seasonal and annual energy bills, consider
household occupancy patterns and examine condition, age and use of appliances and other electronics.
An analysis developed from the collected information can help determine a series of recommendations
that, if accomplished, can produce savings. Homeowners can then decide which measures fit into their
budgets or schedules as they consider improvement
projects.
Scott says he's done energy audits on homes new
and old. "The value of understanding your home's
performance and characteristics will help you know
where to spend money to have the greatest return on
your investment," Scott says. "Understanding heat
movement and costs associated with your home are
so important in making educated decisions that you
can be happy with."

SMALL CHANGES ADD SAVINGS
When the goal is keeping your house cool and comfortable this summer, remember that any activities
adding heat and humidity to your air-conditioned
spaces can increase your energy use and in turn your
energy costs.
Open doors don't just allow people and pets to
come and go. They also provide an instant exchange
of cooler inside air for warm, moist air, much the
same as the cooling effect you experience when standing in front of an open refrigerator. Planning a warm
afternoon in the yard? A cooler stocked with cold
drinks and chilled snacks and placed outdoors can
help cut down on household traffic on hot summer
days.
When cooking, instead of an oven consider using
smaller appliances in your kitchen like a slow cooker
- or better yet, take the extra heat from cooking
outdoors and grill up some hot dogs or hamburgers
on your patio.
Ceiling fans operating in air-conditioned space can
make you feel about 4 degrees cooler while you are in
the room. But the benefits only occur when a room
is occupied as the temperature of the room doesn't
change. Be sure to make it a habit to turn off the ceiling fan and lights when you leave the room for some
summer savings.
Derrill Holly and Paul Wesslund write for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national
trade association representing more than 900 local
electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote
farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines
of economic development for 42 million Americans
across 56 percent of the nation's landscape.

Having an energy audit done inside and outside of your home can help you gain valuable insights into any energy deficiencies your home might have.

16

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Rural Missouri - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - May 2020

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Rural Missouri - May 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - May 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - May 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2020 - 4
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Rural Missouri - May 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - May 2020 - Cover4
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