Are you spending money unnecessarily to own and maintain your home? Here are some expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.
Cable Set-Top Boxes
Some of these boxes consume more energy than a refrigerator. You can Google your set top box to find out it’s power consumption. You can also contact your provider to see if a more efficient box is available. Consider turning boxes off (not just to stand-by but all the way off) during the day, especially in rooms you don’t use every day. The box will need to re-boot but won’t be running in stand-by all day. Even a DVR can be shut down during the day if you don’t have anything scheduled to record.
Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don’t keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes. Having an water heater that is too large for your family is also a waste of money because you’re paying to keep even more water hot throughout the day.
It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. A curled shingle can usually be fixed with 1-2 nails and will prevent that shingle from breaking or blowing off. Have your roof checked every few years and make those small repairs. Maintaining a roof will save tons of money down the road and, when it does become time for a new layer of shingles, do it before you suffer any damage to your subroofing system or home’s interior.
Not only is a dirty dryer vent a fire hazard, it forces your dryer to work harder and run longer because the damp air can’t be vented properly. Have these vents cleaned every few years. You can also touch the top of your dryer every so often to make sure the surface isn’t hotter than normal, which indicates improper venting.
Leaky Faucet or Toilet
A leaky faucet or toilet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. While you can usually see a leaky faucet, you’ll need to listen for the leaky toilet filling up every couple minutes without being used. If you’re on public water, you’re paying for every drop of it.
Traditional Light bulbs
If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb and generates more light. Think about how many light fixtures you have in your home and how this adds up.
We all forget to change our HVAC air filters or accidentally buy the wrong size, but using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill significantly and decrease the life of your systems. Use the correct filters for your system and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time.
Often times homeowners will crank up the heat or AC in the whole house to combat uncomfortable temperatures in one area or room. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. You can also invest in dampers that will help you adjust this air flow seasonally. A professional can show you how to properly regulate this over the year.
Homeowners with sprinkler systems usually program them to come on in the early morning hours. This can become a problem if you’re never around to see what you’re actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can make sure the desired areas are getting the water and none is being wasted.
Leaky Windows and Doors
Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold winter winds to enter your home. You don’t necessarily need new windows to rectify this and save heating costs. Check the caulk around leaky windows and the caulk and weather stripping around doors. You can even add temporary seals around doors that aren’t used often in the winter.
Paying a Handyman
Don’t pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do something, get online and find a video. Most things are easier to do than they seem.