With the holidays finally out of the way, many homeowners are seeking ways to save money. A good way to do this is to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Greening your home can reduce your monthly utility bills starting immediately. The following tips will help those of you hoping to save money on your winter plumbing and heating bills.
Insulation requirements change over time, leaving older homes behind in terms of their energy efficiency. Installing additional or new insulation in your home is a relatively easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money on your heating and air conditioning bills. As an additional benefit, proper attic insulation can also prevent the formation of ice dams.
You can hire a contractor to do this for you, but savvy DIYers can often handle this project without outside help. The entire process is outlined on the Energy Star website, and we’ve posted a step-by-step video below. Not sure what kind of insulation to use? The US Department of Energy provides an insulation calculator, which tells you how much insulation you need based on your zip code.
Dialing back the temperature on your hot water heater is a simple way to save money on gas or electricity (depending on your heater), and the potential savings are documented on the Energy Star website.
Turning down the temperature on your hot water heater may be as simple as turning a dial, or it may be more complex. Some hot water heaters require a panel to be removed. We’ve posted videos below to show both processes.
Pipe insulation is a good idea for a variety of reasons. In addition to the savings you’ll see due to reduced use of your hot water heater, insulating the cold water pipes can prevent them from freezing when temperatures outside drop. Frozen pipes can cause costly plumbing problems, and with temperatures outside dropping, many homeowners are seeking ways to prevent this from happening.
Pipe insulation can be easy or hard, depending on where your pipes are located. Pipes located inside walls may need to be insulated by a professional plumber, but many homeowners can insulate the easy-to-reach pipes without trouble. Self-stick pipe insulation is available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. For a lengthy step-by-step instructional video on insulating the pipes in your home, check out the video below.
These money-saving methods aren’t exclusive to winter. You’ll see a cost savings throughout the year, and overall, your annual costs will be lower. For more helpful tips on saving money in your house, we recommend browsing the EPA’s Energy Star website. You’ll find tips for buying energy-efficient appliances and a plethora of how-to articles, documenting the various methods for improving the energy efficiency in your home.