5 Energy-Saving Repairs For Your Home You've Completely Ignored
Maintaining a home takes a lot of time and work, and it's easy to ignore some areas until they require replacement or serious repair. However, there are many areas of your home that, despite not causing major problems, are sucking unnecessary amounts energy. Check out these five areas that are often ignored and cause your energy bills to rise.
Homeowners tend to ignore garage doors until they completely stop working, but even a working garage door could be leaking energy. This is particularly a problem if your garage door sags to one side, causing it to sit uneven when closed, which leaves a small gap. You should check for this about once a month. Another tip to help keep your door moving smoothly on both sides is to examine the tracks on which the door rolls. First, make sure the wheels are still in the tracks. If you spot any dents, hammer them out. Lastly, remove any debris and keep the tracks well-lubricated. The smoother the tracks are, the less energy will be required to open the door. You can contact a specialist for an additional garage door repair needs.
If you have an unfinished or small attic, you may not go up there often, and what's out of sight is usually out of mind. However, if your home is old, you probably don't have enough insulation, causing your energy bills to blast through the roof. Get up there and inspect your insulation. If the layer of insulation is level with or below your attic floor joists, it needs more. Effective insulation has an R-Value of R-38, which equals 10 to 14 inches of insulation. Doing this allows you to use less heat during the winter and air-conditioning during the summer.
In forced air heating and cooling, air is pushed through ducts that carry it throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of this air escapes through leaks. As a result, you have to use more energy to comfortably heat or cool the house. Sealing these gaps stops the air from leaking, creating a more efficient heating and cooling system. Adding insulation around the air ducts is another way to improve their effectiveness. Adding insulation keeps air cool or warm longer, especially in those that pass through rooms without temperature control, such as the basement, attic, crawl space and garage.
Older windows are a notorious for allowing energy to escape. Getting energy-efficient windows is an effective repair and investment, but it is also expensive. On average, the cost for putting new windows an entire typical home ranges from $8,000 to $15,000, but your return on investment is about 73 percent. Plus, like other energy-efficient options, you can get a tax credit when you install these windows. A less expensive alternative is to use energy-efficient window films. They aren't as effective as energy-efficient windows, but they do a decent job of keeping heating and cooling costs low at a more affordable rate.
Like windows, doors are another way energy can easily escape your home. One way to boost your door's effectiveness is to replace hollow metal doors with solid wood doors because air can actually penetrate hollow doors. Additionally, another major problem area for doors is the weather stripping, which can becomes damaged overtime. Inspect and replace any damaged, missing or old weather stripping to stop air from slipping through the cracks. Lastly, make sure your door still fits in the door frame. Damage to the door or even something as simple as your house settling can knock the door out of alignment, creating larger gaps.
It's important to keep every area of your house properly maintained. Don't wait until it's too late, and you have to spend a fortune in repairs. Even small fixes can go a long way to save you energy and money. For more information regarding home maintenance and repair, contact a contractor in your area today.