If you are a homeowner, you know all too well how frustrating big utility bills can be, so when you invest in your home to lower your bills, those pennies really start to add up! Ready to start saving? Here are a few home improvement tips to help you save money.
Insulate Your Water Heater – Did you know they make insulating blankets/jackets for your hot water heater? For about $30 you can insulate your water heater and even install it yourself. Insulating a hot water tank saves 7% to 16% annually on your utility bills.
Install a Programmable Thermostat – With so many cool options out there, this can be a tech lovers dream. You can set your thermostat to lower the heat while you are at work or sleeping and raise it after work and in the mornings before you wake. A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature settings for you. Not only does it save you the headache of constantly adjusting the thermostat, but it can save you at least $50 on heating costs a year, and costs start around $60 depending on the model you choose. If you are handy, you can even install it yourself.
Swap Your Light Bulbs – LED light bulbs are 90% – NINETY PERCENT! – more efficient than a traditional incandescent bulb. Plus, they can last up to 20 years! LEDs used to be much more expensive than other options, but the price has dropped dramatically making them far more affordable. Swapping out just 1 bulb could save you on average $4.10 per year on energy usage. If you have a lot of lighting in your home, this can certainly add up quickly.
Wrap Hot Water Lines – Your bare hot water lines are just leaking heat causing you to crank up the temperature when you shower. A little pipe insulation can go a long way and it’s very inexpensive. Just cut it to the required length with scissors and push it onto the pipes. It will save you about 3-4% energy on heating your water.
Check Your Appliances – The old saying “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it” can apply here if you have an old refrigerator or washer/dryer BUT new ones are so much more efficient than 15-year-old ones. A new fridge uses about $80 less in electricity each year compared to one from 2005.
Check Your Attic – If your attic isn’t properly insulated, it might be time to head to a big box home improvement store to grab some insulation. Upgrading attic insulation from R-11 to R-49 is something you can do by yourself in a day or two for less than about $800. You’ll recoup that cost in a little over a year since it’ll save you about $600 per year on heating and cooling costs, depending on where you live and the type of heat you have. It also adds value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.
Seal leaks – Check for drafts around windows, doors, and entry points for pipes and cables. Adding a little tape, caulk, or sealant can save you as much as 15% on heating/cooling costs over a year. With only about a $15 investment for supplies, it’s a no brainer!
Inspect Your Flapper – Is your toilet constantly running? It could be a leaky flapper. Even worse than the annoying sound, it could be costing you 200 gallons of water a day. For about $10 you could save over $50 a month.
We love a good ROI – after all, we are in the banking business – but just making a few small changes to your home, could save you hundreds of dollars a month and thousands over a year. What better way to protect your most expensive investment than with a little DIY and some TLC. Needs more info on a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit for a bigger project – give us a call or stop into any of our conveniently located branches.
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
NMLS MLO ID: 532621