Energy bills are an ongoing concern for many homeowners. Although modern home building techniques, appliances, and more are created to be energy efficient, there are still plenty of ways a home’s features, or lack thereof, can affect heating and cooling. Here are a few ways you might be losing money on your energy bills:
1. Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to energy loss in homes. Old or outdated windows do not provide as much thermal insulation as newer, energy-efficient windows.
This means older windows and also single-pane windows tend to let more heat pass through them. With lower thermal insulation in your windows, more heat is entering your house during the summer and leaving in the winter. This makes your HVAC system work harder to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature inside your home and often results in higher energy bills.
With both windows and doors, proper installation and sealing are important. Poor installation damages your home. In the case of windows and doors, it often means they are not sealed properly and that they could be out-of-plumb. When windows and doors are out-of-plumb, they do not sit correctly in their frames.
Not only does this inhibit insulation and allow air leaks to occur, but it also can cause cracks and damage to both the frames and the windows and doors themselves over time. All of this often results in heating and cooling loss and higher energy bills. Replacement doors and windows can help to insulate your home better, reduce heating and cooling loss, and lower your energy bills.
The siding on your home helps protect it from the elements and provides insulation. If your siding is damaged or outdated, your home’s insulation is compromised and could be costing you when it comes to energy loss. Signs of rot, cracks or gaps, and more are all signs your house needs new siding.
When it comes to choosing the right siding for your home, it’s hard to beat vinyl. While other materials can dent, rot, or warp over time, vinyl siding is impervious to weathering and these effects. Plus, it’s virtually maintenance-free. You don’t have to worry about peeling, cracking, or repainting; to clean vinyl siding, you just have to wash it down every once in a while to keep it looking like new.
By replacing your current siding with vinyl siding, you get siding that looks great, is low-maintenance, and provides plenty of insulation for your home to help prevent energy loss. Replacing your siding or upgrading it to a better material is one of the tips to make your home more energy-efficient and it can make a difference when it comes to savings on your energy bills.
An old or damaged roof has the potential to do a lot of damage to your home. In addition to allowing moisture and pests in while leaving your home susceptible to the elements, it also can cause a lot of heating and cooling loss. These are just some of the damages a new roof helps you avoid.
A properly sealed and installed roof without any damage to it is imperative to providing good insulation and protection to your home. Any sealing issues or damage allows for increased airflow and energy loss, which can increase your energy bills. By replacing or repairing your roof, you help ensure your home is properly protected and insulated.
Outdated appliances can become a serious drain on your electricity because they’re just not built to be efficient. Most modern appliances are built to use less energy and to conserve it when not in use. Even if you’re not tackling bigger home renovation trends in your home, small upgrades like new appliances can make a difference.
By replacing outdated appliances with newer, energy-efficient versions, you can save on your energy bills simply because your appliances now use less electricity, water, etc. than your old ones. As you start looking into upgrading or updating your appliances, keep an eye out for the ENERGY STAR product label to easily identify energy-efficient options.
5. Water Heater
Inefficient appliances could also include your water heater. If it needs to be replaced, replace it with a more efficient option. If your water heater is still in good shape, check the temperature at which it is currently set. Simply lowering the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F can also help save on your energy bills.
Your basement and any basement windows you may have could also be ways you might be losing money on your energy bills. Like windows in the rest of your home, it’s important for you to maintain your basement windows and replace them when needed.
At the same time, your basement could be a major culprit of energy loss. Look for condensation, signs of mold, high humidity, etc. in your basement; these are all signs your basement has excess moisture and could be signs of air leaks, poor insulation, and more.
If your basement is unfinished, it could also be contributing to energy loss and higher energy bills. This is one of the reasons why keeping an unfinished basement could be a mistake. Consider finishing your basement. Not only will you have a more energy-efficient space and more livable square footage, but you could also save on your energy bills.
For help completing your home improvement resolutions and with your next home improvement project, contact Zephyr Thomas. We’ve been helping homeowners with their home improvement needs in Lancaster County for over 60 years. Whatever type of home improvement you’re interested in, call us at 717-399-4708 to start a free estimate for your next project or stop by our showroom to get inspired!