The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many homeowners to experience financial hardship and uncertainty. Fortunately, there are many simple improvements you can make to your home that will reduce your utility bill and allow you to have some much-needed flexibility in your budget.
Adding quality insulation is one of the most common and effective improvements you can make to improve your utility performance. Insulation keeps cool or warm air inside your home, reducing reliance on HVAC.
When insulating your home, you should make it a priority to cover your attic, walls, floors, crawl spaces, and basement. Out of all these areas, an attic is the most important. Studies have shown that an insulated attic is responsible for 30% of homeowners’ energy savings.
Replace Your Windows
Replacing your windows with energy efficient ones is a fantastic way to reduce your utility bill. Energy experts have revealed that the average home loses about 30% of its heating and air conditioning through the windows.
Energy efficient windows utilize a combination of window glazes, multiple panes, insulated frames, and gas fills to improve energy retention. Similar to quality insulation, energy efficient windows are better able to retain the desired temperature of your home, minimizing your dependence on your HVAC.
A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you a surprising amount of energy. If no one is home during certain hours of the day or night, you can avoid spending money to cool or heat an empty house.
Many people are hesitant to invest in new technology such as a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat. However, these worries are often unnecessary. Programmable thermostats are user-friendly and cost-effective. Even though the initial investment may cause sticker shock, it will pay for itself by saving you money each month on your utility bill.
The lighting of your home comprises one of the most expensive portions of your utility bill. Fortunately, there are a number of creative tricks you can use to light your home more efficiently.
First, you can maximize your use of natural light. The sun provides light every day at no cost to you, so you should use this to your advantage as much as possible! Open your blinds and curtains to light your home naturally.
If you must use manmade light sources, LED bulbs are a great option. LED bulbs can lower your home utility bills and last longer than incandescent or fluorescent lights. Make sure to turn off the lights as soon as you leave a room.You can also use lamps and candles to supplement your home’s lighting. One of the best parts of efficient lighting is that it is aesthetically pleasing. As you use a variety of light sources, your home will be more welcoming and have more texture in its presentation.
Paint Your Exterior
Many people don’t know that they can save money on utilities simply by painting the exterior of their home. Just like wearing light colored clothing on a hot day can keep you cool, painting your home’s exterior in lighter shades will keep your home cooler. This concept is actually a complex scientific one, but the general principle behind it is that lighter colors absorb different wavelengths, allowing them to reflect more light than darker colors. If your home has been needing a fresh coat of paint, think about choosing lighter paint so your home stays cooler, and your wallet stays fuller.
The water bill can often be one of the most expensive utility bills. If you can relate with this statement, you should consider switching to low-flow faucets. Low-flow faucets are great for the environment and for your pocketbook because they save an incredible amount of water and money on your water bills. Skeptics might complain that low-flow fixtures may be inconvenient. However, low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and showerheads can actually provide the same utility as their non-low-flow counterparts. There is a wide selection of low-flow fixtures from which you can choose.
Strategically landscaping your yard can actually have a big impact on your utility bill. When landscaping your yard, it’s a good idea to think about the times of the day in which your house becomes the most uncomfortable temperature-wise. These times often happen when the sun is beating down on a certain side of the house. If you plant your trees, shrubs, and vines in the right places, they can deliver shade, act as windbreaks, and reduce your energy bills.
On the other hand, yard landscaping can be a big waste of water and electricity. When you landscape your yard, consider installing in LED or solar power lights in order to save energy. Install efficient sprinkler systems to maximize water usage efficiency. Avoid watering your lawn every day if possible.
Replace Old Appliances
Old appliances are incredibly inefficient in their energy usage. They often use more power than they need, resulting in a waste of energy. If you want to improve your utility performance, take this opportunity to invest in newer, more streamlined appliances. These will be much more efficient in their use of energy. An added perk of replacing your old appliances is that the new ones will likely be much more aesthetically pleasing, and easier to use as well.
Add New Caulk and Weatherstripping
In addition to new insulation and windows, you should consider adding new, exterior-grade caulking and weatherstripping to your home. These simple improvements are also very cost-effective—they usually cost about $20 for both. If you complete this project by yourself, you can save money on labor costs.
Make sure to caulk all the gaps and cracks where air can flow into your home, especially around all windows and doors. Reinforce the areas where your exterior siding gaps at the corners of your house. You should also check on your weatherstripping and replace it as often as necessary.
These few improvements are great for the environment, as well as for your home. If you don’t have the funds to complete them all immediately, just choose one or two, and gradually work your way up from there.
Want to save money on your bills? We can give your home some lighter paint! Contact us today to get a free estimate.