Winter has finally arrived and those homeowners who continuously put off quick and easy home repairs could find themselves left in the cold with a higher electricity bill this winter. Completing a few home improvement projects around the house now can save money on your next electricity bill. Electricity is one of the utilities that many homeowners struggle to keep under wraps, and your leaky house is likely the main contributor to that problem.
Weatherproof Doors and Windows
It’s no secret that heat escapes through holes in windows and doors, so the fastest way to lose heat is to leave a drafty, leaky home unattended. Installing a door sweep on the bottom of entry doors takes only a few minutes, but makes a big impact on your home insulation. Concentrate closed-cell foam around the window edges and sash to keep out drafts and water leakage. Most professionals recommend sealing any gap that appears larger than 1/8th of an inch. If you feel that you need extra security, then caulk around the area for an air tight finish. Finally, use foam strips to seal the sides and top of your door. These fixes can help you save up to 10 percent on your home energy bills.
Check the Ducts
Air ducts are commonly overlooked when homeowners run through their seasonal checklists. According to Energy Star, roughly 20 – 30 percent of the air that moves through your forced-air duct system could be lost due to leaks and holes caused by poor maintenance. Fortunately, a simple duct audit can detect poorly connected ducts quickly. Repairing broken air ducts or by replacing old, inefficient units could save homeowners up to 20 percent on their home energy bills. Check Energy Star’s convenient duct sealing brochure to learn more about the savings you could receive and evaluate whether it’s time to call a contractor.
Basement and Attic Insulation
Proper insulation in your attic and/or basement is expensive, but will give you the largest return on investment. Many homes lose heat through non-insulated or under-insulated attics and basements, which can quickly sap the heat from the inside of your home and causes HVAC systems to work much harder to compensate for the change in temperature.
Not sure if your home is properly insulated? If the tops of the joints are exposed, then you have an insulation problem and should get it fixed by a professional immediately.
Clean Fans and Other Cooling Devices
Did you know that you can change the direction of your ceiling fan? Counterclockwise rotation pulls warm air up, whereas a clockwise rotation pushes air back into the room. You can find the switch for this either at the bottom of the fan or by searching around the sides of the center, under the blades. While you’re up there, be sure to wipe down the blades with a microfiber cloth to prevent dust build-up.
Invest in a Water Heater-Insulating Blanket
A water heater insulating blanket is one of the most ingenious options that most homeowners don’t know about. By utilizing this option you can save money on your energy bills by conserving energy that you would have lost anyway. By insulating the hot water heater, you can save nearly 25-40 percent of the energy that would have normally been lost through the sides of your water heater.
A simple fix like a programmable thermostat could save up to $200 on your annual heating and cooling bill. This type of thermostat will allow you to control the temperature of your home at all times. With winter temperatures upon us now, this could mean the difference between a manageable energy bill and one that will break the bank.
Of course, one the most obvious home improvement options is to make sure your heating and cooling system is running at optimal efficiency. Cooper Climate Control is the leading air conditioning and heating systems repair provider in the Valley. We understand the need to be able to regulate the temperature in your home, especially in Arizona where the days are hot and the nights are cool. Contact Cooper Climate Control for your free consultation!