If you’re looking for new ways of saving money, you need look no further than your own home. It’s natural to take the structures where we live for granted. They stand against the elements, protecting us and providing the conveniences in life we’ve come to depend on. Over time, the things we see and use each day can become almost invisible to us. We go to the faucet and turn it on automatically, without really consciously thinking of it. We peer out the window and pay no attention to its frame.
In the process, we lose sight of areas that can be improved. The reason is simple. When we see these items each day, we lose sight of the small, subtle, ongoing degradations that occur in components, materials and functionality. But these small changes that happen day by day can end up costing us money — dollar by dollar down the road. You can take steps to maintain your pocketbook while staying up on your home’s maintenance. Here are just a few:
One of the chief causes of lost energy and money is damaged insulation or under-insulated areas of your home. Depending on the area of the country where you live, check local building codes to find recommendations on the amount of insulation you should have in attics and walls. The same goes for gaps that may exist around your home’s windows and doors. By adding simple measures such as adhesive-backed weather stripping, you can save more on your heating and cooling bills.
Stop The Leak
Water isn’t the only thing that goes down the drain in your sink. If there’s a faucet drip or leak, money is going down the drain as well. To find out how much, put a gallon jug under your leaky faucet and see how long it takes to fill. Then calculate how many gallons it would fill in a day. From there, multiply the gallons per day by your local per gallon water cost to find your daily and annual costs. By periodically checking all faucets, shower heads and toilets, you can stay ahead of the maintenance cycle and save more money.
Avoid Hot & Cold Results
Your home’s heating and cooling system can keep you comfortable, but when they aren’t working at their best, they could be costing you. When components in a heating and cooling system aren’t working properly, your system can operate less efficiently, which means you’re using more energy — and money — to achieve the comfort you desire. Annual system checkups are a very good idea. Another step is to ensure that you’re regularly changing your furnace filter to maintain optimal air flow through the system — as well as through your home.
Keep trees close—but not too close
If you have trees in your yard, you know the benefits. Trees provide cooling shade on hot summer days. They also serve as a natural wind break that shields your home from harsh, winter winds. But they can also end up costing you real money if they’re too close to your house. That’s because tree roots can work their way through the ground and start to press and push against areas of your home, including basement walls, sidewalks and driveways. In turn, roots can cause expensive structural repairs. To avoid this, be sure to learn about the types of trees you’re planting. Talk with your local arborist to determine how close specific types of trees should be to your home to avoid damage down the road as your trees take root.
Credits // Author: Dave Danielson