LIVING SUSTAINABLY: Five Good Reasons to Borrow a Home Energy Monitoring Kit
By Ashley Kimble, Holland Board of Public Works
Do you know how much the electricity is costing you for that second refrigerator in the basement that you use once a year for the Thanksgiving turkey? Or the hidden cost of the incandescent lightbulb you can’t seem to part with just because it hasn’t died yet?
Incandescent light bulbs, extra refrigerators, old appliances, extra humidity – all of these things can contribute to excess energy use in your home. Making simple yet effective changes can make a difference in your monthly energy bill.
Here are five reasons to check out a Home Energy Kit today.
1. Learn how much electricity your appliances and electronics are costing you. The Home Energy Kit includes a watt meter. Simply plug the watt meter into an outlet and plug your appliance or other electronic device into the watt meter. The display will show an instant read of how much it costs to use this device. The meter is even programmed to Holland Board of Public Work’s rates.
2. Find out where heat is escaping from your home. The Home Energy Kit also comes with an infrared thermometer. Point and shoot the thermometer laser to measure the temperatures around doors, windows, vents, light switches and other openings. If you find an area with significant temperature difference compared to the rest of the room, odds are that area could benefit from air sealing or more insulation.
3. Measure the humidity in your home. Did you know humidity affects home energy usage? It requires the heating and cooling system to work longer to overcome the negative impact that too high or too low humidity has on the interior of your home. Keeping the humidity at 40 to 50 percent is the ideal condition for your comfort and the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
4. Learn about energy conservation with your family. Use the Home Energy Kit together as a family and seize it as a learning opportunity with your children. The kit includes information about ways to save and other resources provided by the Holland Board of Public Works.
5. It’s Free. That’s right, free. With your Herrick District Library card, you can check one of these kits out at no cost, just like a book. Simply ask at the information desk where the kits are located, grab one and it’s yours to use until the return date.
What are you waiting for? Head to Herrick District Library and start saving!
Ashley Kimble is the customer communications specialist at the Holland Board of Public Works.
IMAGES: ENERGY KIT.jpg CUTLINE: The Home Energy Monitoring Kit, available for free loan at Holland District Library, will help homeowners cut energy use and save money. Photo: Ashley Kimble
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ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland, and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.