How to Save Energy & Money Around The House
Owning your own home can seem like a money pit sometimes, but these helpful tips will help you save money while saving energy too.
Owning your own home can be a great independent opportunity. You are free to decorate – inside and out – however you wish. The interest on the mortgage is a great tax deduction, the equity you build up over time is yours you can lock in your mortgage rate; thus setting your monthly payments as a steady fixed expense. Owning a home however can also be a costly endeavour. Saving on energy by getting a stove which warms the house quickly is one way to cut expenses and put more money in your pocket. Here are additional ways:
Insulate Your House
Heat easily escapes through windows and doors: Insulate them. Heat rises, so insulating attic spaces is paramount: Think of it this way – your morning coffee sits in a mug and gets cool relatively fast, however when you put that coffee in an insulated thermos or mug, it stays warm for some time. Your house is no different. By insulating your attic, ceilings, exterior walls and crawl spaces your house stays warm – just like that coffee in a thermal mug.
Seal up Those Air Leaks
Heat – and cool air in the summer – can escape through your homes many air leaks. Do you feel a cooler breeze when you are near a window or door? That is a sign of an air leak. Simply caulking those leaks is normally sufficient. Installing storm windows will also help. Close the flue damper to your fireplace tightly when it is not in use. Air can also escape through kitchen exhaust fans, ceiling joints, and door jams. You should also follow your duct-work and seal any place necessary.
Use Your Drapes
Open your south-facing drapes in the winter. The warmth of the natural sun will help keep the house warm during the day. At night close them to reduce the chill, and keep warmth in, once the sun sets. During the summer, keep the drapes closed during the day to keep the sun out.
Use Your Thermostat
Set your thermostat as low as you can stand it during the winter and as high as you can stand it in the warm summer months. This allows your furnace or central air to work less, thus using less energy. The higher you set your thermostat in the winter, the more your heater has to work to keep the place warm, thus more energy used!
Clean, Replace and Bleed
Clean your baseboards. Clean your warm air registers. If you have solar heating, be sure to keep your south facing windows clean as well. Replace your filters for your furnace monthly. Bleed your radiator. Hot water radiators need to be bled twice a year. This lets any air trapped inside escape. Wearing work gloves is advised!
Make the Most of Your Landscape
One advantage homeowners have over renters is that you can control your own landscape. Use it to your advantage- Place trees and shrubs strategically to ensure shade where needed or to allow sunlight in.
Update Your Water Heater
Most water heaters now are energy efficient. Check yours to see if it is time to replace it. You may consider also lowering the temperature of your water heater. Fix any leaky sinks as they waste water. If you live in an urban area, fixing those leaks may also save you money on your water bill. Insulate the tank of your hot water heater, be careful though not to cover the thermostat itself.
These are just a few ways to conserve energy and save money around the home. Energy efficient appliances – like the hot water heater – also add resale value to the home if you should consider selling in the future.