These days, a major factor for many home improvement projects is the need to cut down on energy costs by making the home more energy efficient. Many home owners are finding that simple projects that require little initial investment will save them a bundle in the summer and the winter, when heating and cooling costs really begin to add up. Here are some areas and ideas you can check on to make sure that your home is wasting the least possible amount of energy.
Water: Water in any form is a general conservation concern, and there are areas throughout North America where water is at such a premium that usage is measured in much the same way as electricity; through the use of meters. The same methods for conserving your water in the home can also be used when it comes to cutting down on your gas or electric bill by watching your hot water intake.
A major area for the loss of hot water is the bath. In order to cut costs, consider installing a water smart showerhead- these easy to screw on water savers can be bought both as attachable heads, which are mounted directly on your shower spout, or as heads attached to a tube which allows for flexibility and a large range of motion. The best water saving heads will have several controls to adjust the flow and pressure of water.
You should also take a look at repairing any leaky taps in your home, whether in the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. A leaky tap can mean hundreds of gallons of water used needlessly every day, in addition to the annoyance of the noise.
Heating and Cooling: The main factors in energy use as far as homes go is in their heating in the wintertime and cooling in the form of air conditioning in the summer time. Some basic home improvement ideas can help you maintain a static temperature in your home without having to use extra power.
Windows are always the first area to check in the event of air loss. Older houses contain only single-pane windows, and in order to retain the air temperature of your house double paned windows are necessary; in fact, in many places double paned windows are mandatory. Upgrading your windows is a relatively easy task, although the windows themselves may be expensive. Check the seals around the window edges to make sure they are intact and offer no leaks.
The next area to check for air leaks is around your doors. Doors will contract over time, leaving minute cracks along the bottoms and the edges which can allow drafts or escaped air. This is a pretty simple thing to fix, simply by adding some additional caulking or weather stripping to the area where you can feel the leak.
Finally, a roof in need of repair can cause a lot of air to escape. Remember that heat rises, so if your roof is in disrepair you stand to lose quite a lot of heat out of the top of your home. Check your roof every year to make sure there are no loose shingles, and most houses require a roof to be replaced every twenty-five years. Adding a second whirlybird to the top of your house can greatly improve the circulation of air inside.