October 04, 2017
As we say goodbye to the carefree, snow free, sleet free, freezing cold free days of summer it’s time to give serious thought to our home energy use…and how much of our hard earned dollars are going to pay for it.
Up to 29% of our winter time utility bills is going to heating our home, which can be up to 12% more than the cost of cooling. Insulation is the answer to conserving energy and saving our bank account balances without sacrificing our comfort. Before the cold settles in completely, an energy check, scheduled with your local utility company can be the beginning of a cheaper winter season.
Especially with an older home a comprehensive inspection can reveal simple and inexpensive insulation adjustments that are no more complicated than routine maintenance.
- Air leaks at windows are a fairly easy fix with the use of silicone caulk around the frame, filling any gaps that may have occurred due to shifting. Houses settle regularly, and alignments of windows and doors shift with those changes.
- Around door frames, the installation of weather stripping and door sweeps will usually reseal the area quite adequately.
- If you have not yet wrapped your water heater in an insulating glove, estimated at eating up 14% of your utility bill, there’s no time like the present to start seeing some savings.
While these maintenance concerns can make a huge impact on your energy expenditures, did you know that all of the devices in your home, if left constantly plugged in, can also impact your costs?
Computers, monitors, TVs, cable and satellite boxes, DVRs and power adapters are spinning your electric meter even when they’re not being used. Even though they only represent a small percentage of a home’s total energy consumption, about 3/4 of the electricity is used when the products are turned off.
Unplugging devices can actually make a difference in the size of your electric bill. Plugging several of these offenders into a power strip with a single on/off switch may make the task easier. Most computers have options to put them into sleep mode or even automatically turn them off when not in use.
Even when you aren’t selling or buying a home, you may find the tips, advice and ideas presented by a local real estate agent of use in planning maintenance, staying current on the latest trends and technology that is helpful to homeowners! Contact me to receive the weekly blog and stay updated on your Montclair neighborhood and New Jersey real estate market – you never know when one piece of advice might save you thousands in repair or in the purchase or sale of a home!