Money-Saving Tips All Homeowners Need to Know
Owning a home can be very fulfilling. It can also be very expensive. The mortgage, the utilities, the maintenance; all those costs can really add up.
If you’re looking for a way to save some money (what homeowner isn’t?), here’s a look at some simple ways that you can cut the cost of homeownership.
Block Up Air Leaks
Air leaks can end up putting a real strain on your utility bills. In the winter, they let hot air seep out and cold air come in. In the summer, those air leaks let the cold air out and the hot air in. Even the smallest air leaks can end up adding a tremendous amount of money to your heating and cooling bills.
Check for any air leaks and seal them up. The most obvious source of leaks include the windows and doors, but there are some not-so-obvious spots where air could be leaking out and pouring in; around plumbing pipes, electrical wires and outlets, recessed lighting fixtures, flues, and the rim joists in basements (the point where the foundation and the framing meet). Use caulk or insulation to seal up these leaks and you could see a serious reduction in your energy bills.
Fix Running Water
A running toilet or a dripping faucet isn’t just annoying; it can also be costly. They use water unnecessarily, which can make your water bill go up. They can also increase the risk of a cesspool or septic tank overflow, which can cost a tremendous amount of money to repair. Plus, running water isn’t exactly environmentally friendly.
Fix any running water in your house. If you can’t fix it yourself, have a professional plumber do it for you!
Invest in Insulated Curtains
Windows provide beautiful views of the outside and let the sunshine in, but they can also let hot and cold air get in and seep out. Insulated curtains are backed with special fabric that prevents the loss of hot and cold air. They stop that air from getting in, too. There are so many different designs available, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding options that work with your décor. Close up those curtains when it’s really cold or hot out. But, don’t keep them sealed all the time; letting the sunshine in when the weather is cool can actually heat your home, which can help to lower your heating bills (note: cool temperatures, not cold.)
Install an Automated Thermostat
Keeping the temperature setting in your house the same all day and night can make your heating bills soar. There are times that you can run the temperature a bit cooler, which can translate to big savings. For example, you might want to run it a little cooler while you’re sleeping or when you and you’re family aren’t home. With an automated thermostat, you can set the temperature so that it will automatically go down during the times when you don’t need as much heat and go back up when you want to warm things up. Trying to remember to make those adjustments yourself can be difficult, so why not use an appliance that can do it for you?
Invest in Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t just good for cooling; they can also help with heating.
During the summer, set the fan so that it is running counterclockwise and turn the setting to high. The blades will push air straight down, creating a wind chill effect that will cool your home. In the winter, run the blades clockwise and at a low setting. Doing so will draw hot air up and force it back down so that heat is evenly distributed throughout your home.
Hang Clothing Out to Dry
Even the most energy-efficient clothes dryers can add serious money to your utility bills. While it might be convenient to toss your laundry in the dryer, if you’re looking to save money, you should really consider foregoing the dryer and hanging your clothes out to dry.
Purchase a drying rack and place it in your laundry room. Or better yet (and if possible), install a clothesline outside! Breezes and fresh air will speed up the drying time; plus, there’s nothing better than the smell of clothing and linens that have been dried by nature.
Change Out the Light Bulbs
Incandescent light bulbs may cost less than LED bulbs upfront, but in the long run, they’ll end up costing you more. They use substantially more energy than LED bulbs, which means they can eat up your electric bill. Plus, they have a much shorter lifespan; the average life expectancy for an incandescent bulb is 1,000 hours, while LED bulbs can last upwards 50,000 hours or more! By switching from standard bulbs to LED, you’ll save money on your electric bill – and you’ll also spend less on replacing them.
Keep Tabs on Heating Vents
Whether you have baseboard heat or radiators, make sure that they are free and clear. Never block them with furniture or other items. Doing so will not only prevent hot air from flowing efficiently, but it could possibly increase the risk of a fire. Also, make sure they are clear of dust and debris. Dust bunnies, hair, and anything else that could be clogging them up will prevent the flow of hot air and could potentially cause a fire.
Insulate Plumbing Pipes
If plumbing pipes are located in exterior walls, make sure they are insulated. If they aren’t, there’s a real chance that they could freeze and potentially burst during snaps of cold weather. A burst pipe is a nightmare that no homeowner wants to deal with. Plus, insulating your pipes will ensure that your hot water stays that way, putting less strain on your water heater.
By making these simple adjustments, homeowners can save some serious coin over the course of a year. In the span of a few years, you could have a substantial chunk of change in the bank!