Is Your Home Draining Your Energy? Save Money And Increase Comfort With These Tips And Tricks

Whether you live in the humid tropics, the dry desert, or anywhere in between, it's important to protect your home from the outdoor elements. A proper paint job, a yearly inspection, and installing Energy Star approved doors and windows are all great ways to minimize wear and tear on your home throughout the years. You can also save yourself some money on energy bills and increase your comfort while spending time at home with the help of these tips and tricks:

Switch out Your Water Heater

An effective way to warm up your water with minimal need for costly energy use is to replace your old electric water heater with a new solar option. Depending on where you live, your new solar water heater may be able to save you up to a whopping 90 percent on your monthly water heating costs. Solar water heaters are also thought to be less destructive to our environment.

But if you can't replace your electric water heaters right now, you still have some money saving options to take advantage of. First and foremost, schedule an appointment to have your water heater inspected to ensure that it is running at optimal performance. You can also:

  • Install low-flow faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Insulate your hot water storage tank, being careful not to cover the top, bottom, or thermostat.
  • Insulate the first six feet of hot and cold pipes coming from the water heater.

It's also important to have any leaks that you notice in your plumping repaired as soon as possible to limit the amount of water your water heater has to process throughout any given day.

Deck out Your Windows

Windows make the interior of your home susceptible to damage from the outdoor elements in a number of ways – sun damage may occur on the furniture and flooring, moisture damage might be seen on curtains or seat cushions, and mold and mildew can certainly become a problem. Luckily, you can increase the insulation capabilities of your windows with these methods:

  • Install insulating window film for superior insulation and effective sun protection.
  • Use insulating spray foam or caulking to seal the windows where they meet the frames.
  • Implement honeycomb cellular shades – they provide insulation, sound control, and sun protection.

Keeping the interior of your home insulated with these window additions will also help to keep the water in your pipes near the faucets warmer, which puts less strain and wear and tear on your water heater. Of course, it will give your air conditioning and heating system a bit of a break too.

Plant a Few New Trees

In addition the beauty that most trees have to offer, they can help to lower energy costs year-round. And it is estimated that a property's value may increase by up to 20 percent when trees are planted in the yard. It's a good idea to choose deciduous options because they grow lots of leaves during the summer for sun protection, and they lose their leaves during the winter to let the sun into your home for added warmth. Some eye-catching options include:

  • Oak trees.
  • Red maple.
  • Sweet gum.
  • Hackberry.
  • Weeping willow.

Plant a tree in front of windows that get direct sunlight and in front of where your HVAC system and water heater are to keep them cool while they work so their energy use is more manageable.

Not only will you save money and increase comfort with the help of these techniques, but you'll be protecting your home from harmful sunrays, harsh winds, and even moisture so it stays in good shape for many years to come.