When it comes to owning a home, there are lots of expenses to consider. In addition to writing that mortgage check every month, there’s ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Among the heftiest expenses for homeowners to worry about are those energy bills. After all, keeping your house at a cool, comfortable temperature in the Dallas heat takes some effort. Thankfully, there are a few proactive things you can do to cut costs and keep more money in your wallet. Here are five tips for maximizing energy efficiency in your home.
Check for and seal any leaks.
It may sound strange, but there are lots of ways your home can “leak” energy, at least in the form of warm or cold air. And the last thing you want to do is pay to heat or cool the neighborhood. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home, concentrating first on your exterior walls and then on doors, windows, ductwork and any place where electrical wires or pipes pass through exterior walls. Look for holes or gaps and seal anything you find.
Replace your appliances.
If you’ve got appliances that are more than 10 years old, you could very well be spending more than you should to keep them up and running. Today’s appliances are made to preserve energy, so even if you have to spend a little money to buy replacements, the savings you’ll accumulate from cutting your energy usage will be well worth the upfront investment.
Use a programmable thermostat.
There’s no point in blasting the A/C when everyone’s at work, but nobody wants to come home to a stiflingly hot house at the end of the day. The solution? Install a programmable thermostat so you can schedule your unit to kick on at specified times. There are even smart thermostats on the market today that you can control from anywhere using an app on your smartphone.
Think about getting new windows.
Did your windows come with your home? Perhaps it’s been decades since you last replaced them. In either case, older windows are among the biggest energy wasters. Replacing them with newer windows – particularly ones that feature double or triple panes – can dramatically reduce your energy costs. Plus, it’ll drive the value of your property up. Win-win!
Assess your siding.
If your home has siding, you may want to do an audit to make sure it’s still doing its job properly. Siding has insulation which is designed to reduce heat transfer. In other words, if it’s hot outside, the siding should help prevent that warm air from seeping into your home and vice versa. If it’s been awhile, upgrading your siding could save you quite a bit on energy costs. And, again, it’ll improve the curb appeal of your home.
According to recent statistics, cooling and heating costs make up approximately 50% of the average heating bill in most U.S. homes. Imagine how much money you could save if you could optimize your usage, even just a little bit. The five tips above should help you make your home more efficient, which means more money in your pocket where it belongs.