Most of the US has been enjoying fairly successful economic situations but we still want to save a penny here or there when we can. If you're looking to upgrade your home to save money here are 10 of the smartest things you can do.
#1. Install that programmable thermostat.
No, it doesn't need to be an expensive one, but a programmable thermostat will regulate the temperature when you're in the house and lower it when you are not. The smart ones tend to learn the household's behavior, but even if you can program it to come on and off during different times of the day when you are home or when you are at work will save you quite a bit throughout the year.
#2. Caulking and weatherstripping.
Most of our energy efficiency literally goes out the window in the form of gaps and leaks around doors and window sills. This is in an expensive home improvement that can really pay off.
#3. Add more attic insulation.
Unless you have a brand-new home, chances are you may need a little bit more insulation, especially in colder climates like here up in Columbus. It could add to a long-term savings of up to $600 a year.
#4. Use the right light bulbs.
Using high-efficiency light bulbs can save up to $75 a year and have a much longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs.
#5. Choose a low flow showerhead.
This doesn't mean you need to sacrifice amazing showers but most showerheads use 3 to 5 gallons per minute whereas newer showerheads can use just one and a half to 2 1/2 gallons per minute. A family of four can save more than $100 a year by switching out there showerheads.
#6. Opt for smarter security.
The Ring™ doorbell and security systems are everywhere these days and they make a lot of sense. Nest™ devices can give you the peace of mind without a monthly bill from security monitoring systems.
#7. Consider a Xeriscape instead of grass.
How much time do you spend maintaining and watering your yard? With xeriscaping you replace some or all of your lawn with native plants, rocks, or drought tolerant bushes. You could save up to $200 a year on your water bill not to mention hours of mowing, fertilizing, and maintaining your lawn.
#8. A smart sprinkler system.
If you do want to stick with a lawn, consider a smart sprinkler system that's able to control your sprinklers from your phone or with a voice assistant. It can cut down on watering to where the lawn has just as much is it needs.
#9. Seal your ducts.
A home's heating and air-conditioning systems account for the vast majority of a home's energy usage so it's important to make it as efficient as possible. This could mean buying energy-efficient appliances or sealing up your duct systems, which can save up to 30% of your energy costs each year.
#10. Consider a tankless water heater.
It's a little more expensive on the front end but a tankless water heater heats up water on demand and can be up to 35% more efficient than a conventional water heater. If you need to keep your existing water heater consider an insulated blanket to keep the water as hot as possible without running the heater system.
Even just applying a few of these simple energy-efficient tactics can really add up over time. Especially since the winter is just now getting upon us.
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