Home improvement isn’t just limited to renovations and paint jobs. Oh no. Powering and maintaining our homes deserve as much thought and attention as the cosmetics. Not only do these upgrades improve the way in which our house operates, but it can also enhance overall quality of life, bring down the monthly overhead, and drastically reduce its carbon footprint. While projects such as solar panels, geothermal HVAC, or energy efficient window replacements are certainly worthy candidates, they cost a pretty penny. As you research which investment will be best for you and your family, consider implementing some of these quick and easy adjustments into your home to save some cash and energy.
Naturally, we recommend checking the insulation in your home, particularly your attic. Depending on your region adding a reflective barrier could be to your advantage, or installing new insulation to replace the worn and ragged stuff that’s already there will help keep heat and air from escaping through the roof and walls, thus instantly lowering your bills as your HVAC system will have to do less work to keep your internal house temp maintained.
Use technology to your advantage. Most thermostats these days are digital and come with timers and settings. Set your thermostat to regulate itself at certain times of the day. During the day when you and your family are at work or school, you don’t need the heat and air running for no one. For maximum savings, keep the temp between 68 and 72 degrees.
Change Your Air Filters Frequently
The best practice is to replace your air filters twice a year; in the fall and spring being the optimal times. When your filters are old and clogged, the entire system has to work harder to produce enough heat or air for your desired temperature. They’re incredibly easy to replace, too. Simply open the hatch of your vents to check which size and type of filter you need, then pop the old one out and the new one in. Easy as pie.
Power Cords and Surge Protectors
You never want to overload an outlet. It’s a high risk factor for fires. Aside from this, if you have smaller appliances in the kitchen or bathroom that plug into a power strip, unplugging them when not in use becomes even easier. Even when your small appliances aren’t in use, by being plugged into the wall, they’re still using energy. Unplug the power strip from the wall for these things before you leave for the day and watch the savings rack up.
Regular Deep Cleans And Home Checks
There are things we clean regularly (laundry, dishes, floors, dusting shelves, etc.) Then there are things we hardly ever think about that if applied make a world of difference. Deep cleaning your larger appliances, like the coils of your refrigerator, the air vent of your dryer, flushing the water heater, cleaning gutters and the roof of debris, and the air filter and fan of your kitchen’s range hood ventilation system all make a huge difference in their performance and maintenance costs. Designate a day or weekend twice a year to tackle these dirty jobs. They’re no fun, but they only need to be done about twice a year. While you’re doing this work, check for any leaks around the doors and windows and recaulk where needed.
Snake Your Drain And Get A Hair Net
There’s a reason plumbers tell you to ditch the Drain-O. The chemicals are so caustic that they end up not only dissolving clogs, but they erode the pipes, as well. You might think you’re doing your drain some good using these products, but in fact, you’re doing far more harm. Instead, grab a drain snake from your local hardware store. After snaking the clog, place a net or hair catchers in your showers, bathroom and kitchen sinks to prevent future clogs.
Following these simple steps are the perfect way to make a big impact with very little effort. You’ll save money in the energy you use, as well as costly repairs from taking proper care of your home. Make these efforts really work for you and put those savings away for your next major home energy improvement project.