Isn’t it interesting how someone else can see our house with “fresh eyes”? We live our lives there, coming and going, without seeing what they can see. I can tell you, after spending thirty years as an interior designer, it’s true.
Fresh eyes are an important aspect of an energy audit. A trained eye can come in and see where we are losing heating and cooling; where we have formed a habit of wasting water; how we might change one small thing and save significantly on our gasoline usage.
A recent energy overhaul in Dallas had an amazing outcome. "We noticed an immediate improvement after the modifications were finished. Ever since, our air conditioner has run much less because it's working more efficiently. Before, on the hottest days the unit would run constantly. We can't wait to see our next month's energy bill and future bills because we know the work will pay for itself!" said Dorothy Williams.
The YouTube video showing black balloons being formed and released into the atmosphere is a great visual about the influence we’re having on our planet Every time we use energy, we are making carbon dioxide. It’s invisible, but it’s having a dire effect on our world. The carbon dioxide forms a barrier around the planet, keeping all the sun’s radiant heat. In the past, the heat dissipated into space, but since the industrial revolution, more and more heat is bound in our atmosphere, raising global temperatures.
We are all using way more energy than is necessary for a comfortable life and losing money. It’s not someone else’s problem anymore. We all have to take responsibility for our carbon footprint. Each of us, in our own lives, can make a difference in the world we leave our grandchildren.
Everyone has seen photos, videos and documentaries showing the effects. All the world’s environmental organizations are screaming “Help Us Stop Climate Change!” Are you listening?
Have you done the small but powerful things in your own home that will lessen your impact? Most are very easy, if you can see what to do. But sometimes, we are so accustomed to how we do things and the way our homes look and feel that we don’t realize how we’re losing money on unnecessary energy loss. Our habits blind us to small changes that can have a large effect.
Many of the houses I have seen have hidden gaping holes in them where energy is lost. They have cracks in the heating and cooling distribution system where age or pests have disturbed their integrity. Most houses, more than a few years old, were built with no thought to insulating electrical and plumbing accesses.
Although lots of people know that a reusable grocery bag or a hot water heater blanket is good for the planet, they just haven’t made the changes. Some people are still buying water in disposable bottles and not even recycling them. We have the power to change all this.
Visit your home improvement store this weekend and see what they have to offer. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for your most used fixtures. If you really want to do your part, get an energy audit for your home or business. It will make a big difference for our planet and for your bank account as well.
Sharon Goddard is the Green Lady (http://sites.google.com/site/greenladybiz), providing home and business energy audits, energy efficiency overhauls for homes, and green builder marketing. She has spent most of her life working for the planet. Most recently she put more than 8,000 individuals to work serving the community with programs she created. Sharon believes that we all have to do our part to stop climate change. If you’d like to follow her progress go to http://greenladyaudits.blogspot.com.