Every winter, sneaky little puffs of cold air seep in through the crannies and cracks of your home. At the same time, much-needed warm air sneaks out because of inefficient heat sources. These deceptively minor things add up to expensive utility bills. Fortunately, there are some improvements you can make around your home to help reduce this waste.
Here are a few ways you can make your home more energy efficient, and help save on your utility bills. If you take these little steps now you can reduce your energy costs over time every year, which will add up to big savings in the long run.
First, the easiest way to save money on your utility bills is to get into the habit of shutting off lights and electronics that are not in use while you are out of the room. Consider replacing your light bulbs with LED lights. Although they have higher upfront costs than regular bulbs, they will save an average of $132 over the life of the bulb. They’re also safer than compact fluorescent lights (CFL).
Wrapping your hot water heater tank can help with your energy bills. An insulating blanket that is designed specifically for water heaters will keep the tank warm, so it doesn’t need as much energy to maintain heat. This can save you $20-45 per year. Replacing your old furnace with a new high-efficiency furnace can save you up to 15% a year on heating costs.
Another DIY project to consider is spray foam-in insulation around your windows. If you have older windows, you can remove the old trim before you spray-in the foam. This will cut down on drafts in uninsulated or inadequately insulated homes.
Cut down on water bills by installing low-flow showerheads (with flow rates of less than 2.5 gallons per minute). If you still have a showerhead manufactured prior to 1992, it probably uses about 5.5 gallons per minute!
It’s best to leave the following energy-saving winterization projects to a professional like Snap Construction:
Insulating your attic and walls with the recommended amount of insulation to seal up air leaks in your attic will save you up to 25% a month in heating and cooling costs. Homes with little or no insulation in their walls have higher energy bills due to inefficient cooling and heating. In addition to insulation, it is important to properly ventilate your attic. Make sure your soffit can breathe by adding soffit chutes, which will help eliminate costly problems with mold and condensation. This will also save money in the long run by helping to eliminate ice dams.
How old are your windows? If it is time for a replacement, choose energy efficient windows. Thanks to technological advances in manufacturing, new windows are far superior to older style ones. With new, energy-efficient insulated windows, you will see an average 10-15% drop in heating and cooling costs per year.
Consider installing a wood burning stove. A wood stove can be a backup heat source in case of power outages, add vintage charm to your home, or create great ambiance if you simply love that woodsy smell. In the long run, it might be cheaper in some cases to use a wood stove than your furnace. However, some wood stoves can produce unhealthy air quality, especially if they’re the sole source of heat.
Install insulated siding can also help lower your energy bills. Insulated siding is like a blanket on your home. This creates overall warmth in your home during the winter months, and it can help keep your house cool in the summer.
There are many opportunities to save money on your home energy bills through a DIY project or hiring a professional like Snap Construction. Snap Construction is a full service Minneapolis construction company that can help you on your next roofing, siding, windows, insulation, or remodeling project.