How Energy Monitors Track Energy Use

Written by Haley Burres
Updated October 7, 2015
Energy meter
An energy meter can help you track your home's energy usage. (Photo courtesy of iStock)

Monitoring the amount of energy that it takes to run your home may surprise you. Using an energy tracker in your home can save you money.

Keeping a close eye on the amount of energy your home uses can save you money, as well as put less stress on the environment. Monitoring the energy you use at home can be done in just a few easy steps, so that you can start making your home more energy efficient and seeing the results in your pocketbook.

What an energy monitor does

Purchasing an energy monitor is one way that you can monitor your home's energy usage on a daily basis. Energy monitors can be purchased at home improvement stores; you can look at their digital display and see your energy levels decrease as you take steps to reduce the amount of energy you use at home.

Easy ways to lower your energy use at home that you can focus on right away include using blinds or drapes on your windows during the summer so that the heat from the sun is blocked from your home. Your home will stay cooler that way and that can reduce the energy needed by your air conditioner. Adjust your thermostat accordingly for when you are in and out of your home. In the summertime, when you are out of your house for work or other extended periods of time (and you don't have pets at home), turn up the temperature so that your air conditioning doesn't kick on as often. In the winter, allow your home to get cooler while you are away. Use the timer option on your thermostat so that your home can be warmed back up again by the time you arrive home.

Teach your family to turn out lights when they are not in the room, and to pull the plug on appliances when they aren't using them. Watch your energy monitor together, set goals for reduced usage and check your progress after a month of new habits. Everyone can learn new ways to make your home more efficient, save the family money and be gentler on the environment.

Get a home energy audit

Having a home energy audit is another way to check out your energy usage. Home energy audit services will send a staff member to your home to search for anything that may be hindering your energy efficiency. From checking for draft areas to reviewing your appliances, home energy audit services will make recommendations to you on how you can cut down on wasted energy use in your home.

Home improvement options

After your audit, you might find that replacing insulation in certain rooms of your home or purchasing a few new appliances are steps that you take over the course of a few months, or as your budget permits. Be sure to interview and hire a recommended contractor to help you out; let your contractor know that your goal is energy efficiency so that he knows how to best advise you.