I live in SW Florida so energy use is largely air conditioning. Our electric bill is much larger than I think correct based on comparisons to others, but I can find nothing specifically wrong - I tried checking the meter with an "The Energy Detective", and it seemed about right. Checking individual loads of devices turned up nothing, I think it is just how much the AC systems run.
I am trying to get my head around what really contributes to AC energy costs down here. I have heard that attic insulation is relatively less important than in cold climates, but that air leaks are more important. I do not know if either is true. I can see that I have quite a lot of air leaks (unsealed electrical holes, open wall interiors with no header into the attic poorly stuffed with insulation). Fixing ALL is a big job, so looking to find a way to tell what is most important, and having a real effect; if perhaps it is something else entirely like walls or windows.
The cell camera thermal imagers are getting better and better. I ask this not become a "which one" but rather a general question (or two):
Are they worth the effort for trying to track down the worst offenders for correction? Or am I better off with other types of tests (e.g. a pressure test with smoke to look for leaks)? Are these inexpensive ones good enough to use, or should one punt and rent a professional quality one?
If they are worth the effort (either cell devices, or rentals), are there techniques specifically that may be best for looking for cooling inefficiencies, air leaks, etc.? Or just look on the inside for red, and outside and attic for blue?