LESLIE: Deborah in Missouri has a question about energy. What can we do for you?
DEBORAH: I have a 1,450-square-foot home and a split-level. And our energy bills are like $350 a month. Trying to figure out, basically, where the hole is and how to patch it up.
TOM: Is that consistent across the year? Or is that a winter high or a summer high or what?
DEBORAH: It seems to be a – well, definitely a summer high. We just got through the summer. We’re pretty consistent throughout those three months. In the winter, we usually – most years it’s been around 250 to 300.
TOM: You know, your question is a good one, because a lot of people try to figure out where their home is using the most energy. So I have a couple of suggestions for you. One of which is to contact your local utility company and find out if they have the ability to do an energy audit of your home.
Some utility companies, as part of their licensing requirements, will offer services like this for a small fee or sometimes free, where they’ll have an energy auditor come to your house and look at all of the ways your home is using energy and give you some advice on where you should be concentrating on your improvements.
Short of that, we can always – only talk sort of generically. But the number-one place you should be trying to make more efficient would be your attic, because most homes don’t have enough insulation. And if you popped your head up in your attic, what we would want you to see is 15 to 20 inches of fluffy insulation. If you don’t see that, then that’s the first place where you’re wasting a lot of energy.
DEBORAH: Yeah, that sounds great. Thanks for the resources.