Have you ever considered how much money you waste each year on your utility bill? You should. Leaking air is one of the costliest utility expenses. Reducing the number of drafts in your home could save you as much as 20 percent. Here are four weatherization tasks to help you save money on energy costs.
Reverse Your Fans
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We all once learned that heat rises while cold air sinks. You’re using these fundamental laws of thermodynamics in your home every day, even if you’re not thinking about it. The ceiling fans in your home spin counter-clockwise by default. Their purpose is to circulate cold air in the room, and they do so by pushing cold air down.
Have you ever noticed the switch on your ceiling fan? Its purpose is to reverse the fan blades to spin clockwise. You should flip this switch during the winter. That way, your fan will take the hot air near the ceiling and redistribute it to the rest of the room. One simple flick of the switch will keep you much more comfortable during the winter and summer.
Identifying Air Leaks
Since air leaks are so expensive, preventing them is the first goal. The most likely culprits for air leaks are places directly connected to the outside. Run your fingers by the baseboards of your home, and check to see if you feel air on your hands. If so, you have a leak. Repeat this process with windows, doors, and vents.
A nice trick for finding air leaks involves a candle. Light one and carry it around your home. Wherever you suspect an air leak, hold the candle to the site. If its flame flickers or burns out, you have an air leak.
Check Your Filters
Many apartment complexes and maintenance-free living facilities across the country do quarterly filter checks. They do so because they understand how much damage occurs to an HVAC unit that uses an old air filter. Changing to a fresh one in a timely manner slows the depreciation of one of the most expensive pieces of hardware in your home.
For this reason, you should treat your HVAC unit the same way that you treat your car. Acting negligently will cause your utility bills to spike. Plus, you’ll have to replace your hardware earlier in its life cycle. To protect your HVAC unit and thereby extend its lifespan, hire a reliable professional to service your unit twice a year. By performing maintenance once early in the summer and again early in the winter, you’ll save yourself a lot of money overall.
Clean Your Water Heater
Did you know that sediment deposits build in your water heater over time? When this occurs, the heating element in your unit is more likely to fail. You’ll have to hire a technician to replace it, which will cost $500 on average. To avoid that, you need to clean your water heater. Flushing your water heater is an easy process that even a novice homeowner can do. Simply follow the steps listed here to remove the sediment from your unit.
Preventing your home from wasting energy saves you a lot of money over time. Follow the four tips above to maximize the efficiency of your home, thereby reducing your utility bills.