Owning a home is a life goal for many people but one that comes with a great deal of responsibility. There’s no option to call a landlord when repairs and upgrades are needed. When it comes to saving money as a homeowner, taking preventative measures is the key to success. A home is an investment that’s worth protecting with improvements that help manage energy bills, control upkeep costs and keep the household safe and sound. These three strategies can help homeowners save money and stay safe in their homes for many years to come.
1. Upgrading a Home’s Building Envelope with Insulation
The roof, floors and exteriors walls of a home make up the building’s envelope, a shell that protects the home’s interior from the weather outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), heating and cooling accounts for around 55 percent of the energy consumption in the average American home. A well-insulated building envelope provides a tight seal that allows HVAC systems to run less often and still keep everyone inside comfortable.
Adding insulation to the attic is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to strengthen a home’s building envelope. A poorly insulated attic allows heat to radiate indoors during hot summers months. In the winter, poor insulation lets household heat escape outside. According to the EPA, a properly insulated attic can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 30 percent. Adding in densely packed cellulose sidewall insulation is another effective option.
2. Making Simple Home Improvements to Reduce Energy Bills
From installing low-flow toilets to cut water bills to switching to LED lights for the holidays to save on electricity, a number of simple home upgrades can significantly reduce monthly utility costs. Inexpensive home improvements that pay off with lower energy expenses include:
- Plugging electronics into power strips so that devices like televisions, computers and cell phone rechargers don’t continue to draw electricity when not in use.
- Cleaning or replacing heating and cooling air filters to enhance HVAC energy efficiency and improve conditioned air flow.
- Weather-stripping windows and doors to keep drafts at bay and lower heating and cooling costs by 15 percent or more.
- Insulating hot water tanks and pipes to reduce water heating bills by up to five percent.
- Enrolling in HVAC preventative maintenance programs to make heating and cooling systems operate with up to 25 percent better energy efficiency.
- Strategically planting trees and shrubs to provide a windbreak or shade.
3. Controlling Costs and Enhancing Security with Automated Home Systems
Ensuring that everyone remains safe in a home is of the utmost importance. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), around 1.6 million residential burglaries occur in the United States each year. Experts agree that an automated home security system is a homeowner’s best defense against intruders and loss of property. Off-site monitored systems ensure a rapid response from emergency services whenever needed.
Home automation systems can also allow homeowners to control household technologies from a single console as well as from remote locations. From turning off lights to adjusting HVAC thermostats, whole-home automated systems offer money-saving control over their systems while providing added security and convenience.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Dylan Johnson is a writer for Home Security OK in Oklahoma. They do video surveillance cams, kits and alarm systems for home owners.