Whether you’re a brand-new homeowner just moving into your very first place or you’ve owned your home for decades, there’s definitely a sense of pride in having a place to call your own. Here’s the thing, though — with homeownership comes total responsibility for every aspect of your private property, and that can leave some homeowners wondering just what they can do to keep costs down, especially in the hot summer or freezing winter months.
We have a few tips to help you save, with 9 things every homeowner should do.
1. Check the insulation in your attic. This is a step a lot of new homeowners forget to take, but it’s essential for cost-saving, especially in older homes. If the insulation in your attic is not up to par, your heating and cooling system will have to work much harder to keep your home comfortable — which means higher power bills. You can have insulation professionally installed or, in some cases, can install proper insulation on your own.
2. Check all toilets, sinks, faucets for leaks or constant running. Even a small drip-drip-drip can add up over the long-term. Make sure to tighten up leaky faucets or pipes if you can. If not, call in a professional to have a look. That “small leak” be may masking a much larger and more expensive future problem.
3. Track the cracks in the basement. While not every home in South Carolina has a basement, many do, and we have a trick to help you know when your foundation needs a little upkeep. Take some masking tape and write the date on it, then place it over the very end of any basement cracks you find. Check again a month or two later. If the crack is visible past where you placed the tape, then you know the crack is growing. If so, call a professional right away.
4. Replace your air filters. We know, we know — it seems like we give you this advice all the time, but it really is one of the most important steps towards efficient heating and cooling at home, and we really can’t emphasize it enough. Replace your air filters once a month, every month, to ensure they can properly capture the dust and minuscule debris that will otherwise find its way into the air you and your family breathe.
5. Install a programmable thermostat. One of the best ways to save on your energy bills is through a programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat for your ideal temperature while you’re home and let it tick up (or down, in winter) a few degrees during the hours you’re out at work or when you head out on vacation. This way, your home will be cool for you when you step inside without wasting on that work on an empty house while you’re gone.
6. Make sure there’s a ceiling fan in every room. Okay, maybe not the bathrooms, but otherwise this is a great trick for keeping costs down. Ceiling fans are relatively inexpensive and help make sure cool air moves around in the summer (and that heat is able to move around in the winter), making sure your family stays comfortable. The money you save on your energy bills over time will make up for the initial cost of the fans themselves.
7. Do you have an older hot water heater? Consider picking up a water heater blanket. While newer water heaters usually come well-insulated, older models often lose a lot of their heat by dispersing it ineffectively into the air around them. An insulating blanket made for just this purpose will keep that heat from escaping and help even older water heaters work more efficiently. You may also want to consider a replacement water heater, if yours is more than 7 – 10 years old.
8. Make sure your home is sealed. New homes usually are, but older homes are often drafty. That strangely cold breeze you feel even when the heat is going strong in December is outside air making its way in — and your heater is likely overworking to compensate. Look around doors and windows to check for places air may be entering or escaping and seal them up to help things stay comfortable year-round.
9. Make sure nothing is obstructing your air vents. While it seems like obvious advice, it’s easy to miss when a bookshelf accidentally sits over half your floor vent, or perhaps a distracted toddler leaves her favorite stack of books right on top of the vents in her room. These obstacles make it so air can’t circulate effectively, and your home heating and cooling system will have to keep fighting long past when the house should have cooled to the correct temperature. Once a week, make a quick trip around the house and ensure all your vents are totally clear.
Our last piece of advice?
When You Need Help, Give Corley a Call.
Our final piece of advice is to choose a local company you truly trust to help you out when the HVAC stops working, you find water leaks in the plumbing, your circuit breakers are having trouble, or any other home systems issue. At Corley, we do just about everything: electrical work, drain service, plumbing, and home heating and cooling. It’s just one number to call to keep your new home in perfect shape. Reach us by phone at (864) 661-2811 or contact us online at any time to schedule service today!