5 Most Costly Mistakes Every Homeowner Should Know to Save Hundreds On Their Utility Bills
Costly Mistake #1 - Keeping the interior doors closed
Have you ever noticed:
1. Doors that slam shut by themselves whenever the air turns on?
2. A rush of air felt under a closed interior door when the air is on?
3. A resistance felt like someone is pushing back when you open an interior door and the air is on?
4. Or an increase of allergic symptoms when at home?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you likely have high room pressures. Isn’t a high room pressure a good thing? Actually, no, and the answer is because the air the goes into the room becomes trapped behind closed doors and cannot circulate back to the return, making your AC system work harder! How much harder, exactly? Studies in Phoenix homes have shown a 15% reduction in the heating and cooling bill by installing room pressure relief measures. The takeaway… keep your doors open.
Is It Best To Close Bedroom Doors At Night?
Watch our video on closing interior doors at the link below.
Costly Mistake #2 – Using pleated filters
Pleated filters are promoted as allergen-reducing and dust-reducing filters at stores such as Home Depot and Lowes, but these qualities are at the expense of a shortened life of your air conditioner. Using pleated filters causes your AC unit to work much harder than it needs to, because is it so much harder for the unit to “breathe” properly. Imagine breathing through only a straw, we would run out of breath pretty quickly and that is what is happening to your AC unit with the pleated filters. Not enough air is allowed to pass through the filter, so the capacity is reduced, the unit becomes stressed and it sounds like a wind tunnel every time the unit kicks on. Us energy auditors like the cheap throw away filters, or a 4” HEPA filter which provides even better filtration but without sacrificing airflow.
See a video of us showing three different options for air filters at the link below.
Costly Mistake #3 – Going solar before looking at efficiency.
Did you know making energy efficiency improvements to your home is 5 times more cost effective compared to going solar? That means that for every $1 you reduce on your energy bill (from energy efficiency upgrades like duct sealing, air sealing and insulation), you would spend 5 times more money making the same $1 reduction with solar. It’s not that we don’t advocate for solar here, it just makes more sense to look at efficiency first and get the guts of the home up to par before going for the bling.
Costly Mistake #4 – Adding more insulation to your attic when it already has enough.
The cost savings for adding insulation to our attics has a point of diminishing returns. That is, at some depth of insulation, the cost savings we get for that extra depth dramatically starts to taper off and eventually levels out. Is your home has R-19 insulation or less, you will ride the wave of great cost savings when going for extra insulation. However, if your attic already has greater than R-19, you will still see benefits to adding insulation in your attic, but not as dramatically as before. Your money may be better spent on air balancing, shade screens, or duct sealing depending on what the results are from a home energy audit.
Costly Mistake #5 – Failing to insulate the interior attic hatch
That 2x3 sheet of drywall has likely been left bare, void of insulation since your home was built. Heat always goes in the path of least resistance which would likely be the attic hatch. By purchasing a 2” thick sheet of foam board and gluing 4-5 of them on top of the attic hatch, you will have stopped the flood of heat gain coming into your home through the attic hatch.
Looking for more energy savings ideas? Schedule a home energy with Arizona’s leader in personalized home performance, Green ID. We look forward to seeing how much money we can save you!
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