5 Reasons Your Money Is Flying Out The Window
Do you ever feel like your money is flying out the window? Well, it might literally be doing just that. In fact, Americans are spending over $2,200 a year in energy bills, mostly due to the heating and cooling of homes. From dated appliances to decayed windows, there are several factors that could contribute to your high energy bills, but there are also several solutions to keep those expenses down! By simply replacing single pane windows, homeowners can see up to $465 in annual savings!
Conduct an Energy Audit
Just like a financial audit, completing a thorough energy audit is essential for identifying areas that need attention. Many times, energy contractors partner with utility companies and offer free energy audits to customers. If this option is not available in your area, it’s certainly something worth investing in. By completing the audit first, homeowners will know which items to replace or repair.
Replace Your Old Windows
One of the most notorious money-suckers is old, single-pane windows in homes. These windows lack the insulation needed to keep cold air in during the summer and warm air during the winter. As the windows continue to deteriorate, more air (and moisture) seeps through the broken seals. While you might have the AC set to 65, you may notice your home isn’t cooling. While replacing windows can be a costly expense, it’s one that not only reduces energy costs, it adds value to your home!
Complete Routine Maintenance on Your Heat and Air
Heat and air systems are two big-ticket items homeowners dread replacing. Keeping your existing furnace and air conditioning in tip-top shape is essential to your budgets and energy usage. Preventative maintenance can help extend the life of your HVAC unit and identify problems before they escalate. Homeowners should have their HVAC systems monitored seasonally. However, as a unit ages, even with preventative maintenance, replacing a unit with a more energy-efficient one can save money in the long run.
Check Your Attic Insulation
One of the most forgotten areas of the home is the attic (until you need the Christmas tree!). However, the attic can greatly contribute to energy costs. Especially in older homes, poorly rated insulation or missing insulation can greatly affect how warm or cool a home feels. According to Energy Star, if you can see the joist in the attic, you don’t have enough insulation. There are various options—blown-in, foam, and rolls. When searching for insulation, the higher the R-value, the better it will be for your overall energy savings. Adding insulation can provide homeowners with as much as $600 in annual energy savings! As with energy audits, some energy contractors offer new insulation as a free service to customers. Check with your local utility companies to see if this service is offered.
Don’t Forget The Little Details
While HVAC, windows, and insulation can be costly items to replace or update, there are several smaller items homeowners can update that will make an impact on their energy savings. By replacing existing light bulbs with LED, homeowners will utilize less energy. In fact, Energy Star LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. Another small change homeowners can make that will provide big results is switching to smart power strips. Even while electronics are dormant, they are eating energy. In fact, this dormant electricity usage can eat up between 5 to 10 percent of your energy consumption. By switching to a smart strip, the electronic devices are automatically powered off while in standby mode.
As summer temps begin to rise, it’s important to tackle your energy audit now—and relish the savings during those hot summer temps!