Owning a home is expensive. In addition to the mortgage, property taxes, and insurance costs, homeowners are responsible for their utility bills and the cost of household repairs.
Most homeowners spend thousands on household maintenance and emergency repairs every year. Investing in the home efficiency upgrades and routine maintenance outlined here can prevent systems from breaking down and save homeowners money in the long run.
Doors and Windows
Old doors and windows can allow unwanted airflow. Drafty doors and windows will make it harder to heat or cool your home and increase the strain on your HVAC system. You may be able to correct this issue by applying caulking around old windows and adding draft stoppers to your doors.
It’s also a good idea to consider investing in new doors and windows. The cost of upgrades pays for itself by lowering your utility bills and increasing your property value. If your doors and windows are drafty, you won’t be able to fully enjoy your home in the winter because you’ll want to avoid drafts to stay warm.
Your home’s furnace distributes hot air throughout your home during the winter. If your heating system struggles to reach your desired temperature, it’s possible your furnace doesn’t run efficiently due to serious mechanical issues. Efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems draw in air through the intake vents and heat the air. The blower distributes warm air through the supply vents until the home reaches the temperature set on your thermostat. You can extend the life of your HVAC system by making regular maintenance a part of your routine. Schedule maintenance from an HVAC technician every fall to ensure your furnace is working correctly before winter. This can extend your heating system’s life, so you don’t have to buy a new furnace prematurely.
Your HVAC technician will inspect the unit to ensure all parts are working correctly and replace worn parts. The technician can also remove debris from the ducts to keep your system from distributing contaminants throughout your home. Have your technician return to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioner in the spring to ensure it’s ready for summer.
If your heating system does break down, check to ensure the pilot light is on. Make a habit of cleaning or replacing your HVAC system’s air filter each month. A dirty filter can obstruct airflow, which will make it harder for your unit to heat or cool your home. When the system has to work harder to perform its tasks, it consumes more energy, which will cause your utility bills to increase.
Your attic can cause energy efficiency issues by allowing unwanted airflow that affects your home’s temperature. Insulating your attic prevents hot air from escaping during the winter and keeps the cool air in during the summer. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to run as often to heat or cool your home, which means you’ll save money on energy bills.
Your ducts can also leak air. Sealing leaks and wrapping your ducts with insulation ensures your home’s cooling and heating system can distribute air efficiently.
If your healthy routine includes completing a workout first thing in the morning, you’ll need appropriate lighting to ensure your safety. Set up your exercise area near a window so you can take advantage of the natural sunlight during the summer months. You can also reduce your utility bills by replacing old light bulbs with LED light bulbs, which consume less energy. Another idea is to take advantage of natural sunlight by placing your desk and favorite reading chair near a window.
Old appliances use more energy than new energy-efficient appliances consume. Although it can cost hundreds upfront to replace your stove or refrigerator, the older your home’s appliances are, the more money you’ll save by replacing them. You may even save money on your home insurance costs as well because some old appliances may be a fire risk.
Smart home upgrades can improve your home’s efficiency and save you hundreds to thousands of dollars per year on your utility bills. You can also avoid the inconvenience and cost of paying for emergency repairs.