Though the saying of "it takes money to make money" is true even when it comes to home improvement projects, it is also true that some of the most effective improvements will cost you the least. It is not always necessary to make vast changes to your lifestyle in order to make your home more efficient and cost-effective. Read here about some very simple ways to lessen energy consumption and lower your bills.
Furnaces are one of the costliest features of modern homes, not only for the price tag of purchasing new ones but also for the monthly cost of running them. Though you can certainly turn down the thermostat in order to shave a good percentage off the monthly bill, there is another simple way to increase the efficiency of your furnace; just change the filters. They can get clogged over time and practically cease to function in the capacity they were designed for. This will make your furnace work harder to heat your home, and obviously, this will increase your heating bill. Research how to change the filters yourself, and make sure to buy the best ones that fit your particular furnace. You will also want to buy ones of quality construction, so as to ensure functionality and savings.
Stop air from seeping in and lowering the temperature inside your home. Caulk all windows, replacing or repairing when necessary, typically every couple of years. Apply weatherstripping to all exterior doors, around the edges, the tops and underneath. Purchase a rubber strip that extends from the bottom of the door to the floor, to make it flexible for opening and closing, while still blocking air from entering the room.
Take a look at your shower head. If it is an older model, there is a good chance that it is not equipped with water-saving features. Newer styles can still provide the flow and impact that you desire, by redistributing the flow while conserving energy. Check for leaks on all shower heads, faucets and toilets, as these can raise your energy bill considerably. Replacing older models and fixtures can easily pay for itself in one season.
Water heaters and pipes are one of the most overlooked ways to control energy consumption. Wrap your water heater in insulation and keep it there throughout the year, during both the winter and summer season. Wrap pipes in basements and closets, as well as outdoor pipes. The insulation will keep heat from escaping indoors and will prevent outdoor pipes from freezing and bursting. They can be very expensive to replace or repair and can cause massive damage from flooding, while increasing the chance for harmful molds and mildews to form.
Changing your curtains indoors can be a very effective way to conserve energy. Install heavy draperies that trap heat, making the room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Place magnetic strips to the sides of the curtains, so they will fit snugly against the window frames and prevent cold or hot air from coming inside.
These simple ideas can save you a bundle, while also lowering your carbon footprint. Be a responsible homeowner with a little extra money in your pocket, starting today.