Which Home Improvements Save You The Most On Monthly Bills?The average homeowner in North America spends about $2000 per year on utilities including water, gas, and electricity, and this number is only going to continue to rise over the next several years.
Luckily there are many ways to upgrade your home in order to make it more energy efficient and help you save significant amounts of money over the years you spend in your home. Programmable Thermostats One of the easiest ways for families to cut back on their power consumption, programmable thermostats are easy to install and allow you to set specific temperatures for certain times of day. This way you can lower the temperature in the winter while you’re not home in order to save on your heating bill, but still have the house warmed by the time you return. It’s said that for every degree you lower your heating during the winter, you can save up to 5% on your energy bill. In the summer, simply reverse this by allowing your home to get warmer while you are not home and programming your air conditioning to kick in just before you return. Proper Sealing While proper sealing may seem like an overly simple solution to the high costs of utilities, experts estimate that 3-4% of heating and air conditioning costs are due to air leakage around windows and doors, wall joists, baseboards, attics, and wall sockets. It doesn’t matter how small the leak is, any air escaping is causing your heating and cooling to be less effective and thus cost you more. Investing some time and money in proper caulking and weather-stripping can save you plenty in the long run. Housing experts say that one of the most commonly overlooked areas of the home is the sealing around attic doors. Because the temperature in the attic is often much different than the rest of the house, it’s important that it be properly sealed as to not lead to any unnecessary energy being used. Insulation In most cases of homes with large temperature swings, the problem is poor insulation. Improving the insulation in the attic and basement of your home is often a good way of significantly reducing the range and frequency of these temperature swings, leading to a more comfortable and more efficient home. Get a home improvement professional to take a look at your insulation and air-seals in both the attic and basement before installing or changing your insulation to ensure that moisture will not build up in these spaces. Some Notes on Windows Windows are often responsible for large amounts of heat loss during the winter months but newer windows are up to 50% more effective than older models. Replacing windows can be a larger investment than other home improvement tasks, but they will make a big difference in the overall efficiency of your home in the long run. Look for low-E argon filled double-glazed windows for the highest degree of energy efficiency.
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