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The Carson's are all about energy this year. We are generating energy hand over fist with our solar panels, but is that enough? I saw something on our neighborhood email about a free energy audit that you can do, and shared the information with Clay. He was all over it and we were scheduled quickly. This free service is underwritten by Entergy through a program called Home Energy Solutions Program https://www.entergy-arkansas.com/your_home/save_money/ee/home-energy-solutions/

The company we used was home energy Rx and you can reach them at 501-414-8094. They do about three energy audits a day, and not just with Entergy customers.

They came yesterday and let me tell you, everyone needs to do this! They come in and seal off your house,

covering the air returns.

Then they turn off your air conditioner and start a fan and go around to each vent in the house and take readings.

After that, they then seal all vents at the same time and do another reading.

After they input all the data into their computers, they share with you the findings.

The downstairs unit was in great shape, since it is on a slab, they tend to have less leaks. Upstairs, we have some leaky ducts in the attic, and we are not an airtight house in spite of having good windows and doors. They are coming in to repair the ducts and seal up some areas they feel will help. They also recommended better insulation in our attic, which will require removing everything and the floor up there, and then spraying in foam insulation. All for FREE! We have to pay for the floor removal for a minimal fee, but the rest is free. They do the work and it is all underwritten from grants and Entergy. What a deal. Did I mention it is free?!

The attic idea was one of those "I don't think so" plans when I first heard it. We have a large attic and it is FULL of stuff--a lot of holiday decorations being of prime concern. Clay, being Mr. "I need the best energy plan in the country", came up with a compromise. He will floor the attic space over the garage, put in a drop down staircase and move everything over. I am not certain everything will fit, but we do have stuff up there we could probably get rid of. I am not even sure exactly what is up there besides the decorations since I usually stand downstairs and organize things while kids and husband are upstairs lifting. So more work is now back in our near future. They are coming back this Friday to do part a and b - duct work and sealing, but I elected to put off the insulation work until October to give us time to clean out and put in new attic space--preferably when it cools down a bit.

Afterwards, they email you a document covering everything you discussed and it includes other pointers on how you can save energy. (I am hiding it from Clay!) Seriously, it is really good information.

A friend had this done several years ago and suggested it, but I didn't have the time to think about it. I should have, because it only took about 2 hours to get done, but the results and the plan we are going with is well worth it. You don't have to do anything if you don't want to, but why turn down free home improvements. One friend got a free smart thermostat (we already have one--of course!) but they also change out up to 10 light bulbs per home from standard bulbs to LED ones. Most of their referrals are by word of mouth, since they don't do paid advertising, but they stay busy. Other utility companies use them too, so give them a call and see what they can offer you.

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