Tradespeople Say These 18 Mistakes Are Costing You Money Around Your Home

Krystal Smith

Running a home is costly as there always seems to be one job or another that eats into your monthly wage. However, according to tradespeople, there are ways that we can save money if we stop making these 18 costly mistakes.

Not Weatherstripping Doors and Windows

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Gaps around doors and windows allow conditioned air (cool in summer, warm in winter) to escape, forcing your HVAC system to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. This translates to higher energy consumption and significantly inflated electricity or gas bills. Look for gaps around doors and windows, especially near hinges, locks, and frames, and apply your chosen form of weatherproofing, such as acrylic caulk.

Leaving Lights and Electronics On

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Leaving lights and electronics on in unoccupied rooms or for extended periods can save significant energy, especially in larger spaces. Even when electronics are turned off, many still draw a small amount of power, known as “standby power” or “phantom load,” so you should turn off at the mains when not in use for long periods.

Using Incandescent Bulbs Instead of LEDs

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Traditional incandescent bulbs are notoriously energy-inefficient, consuming significantly more power than LED alternatives for the same light. Investing in energy-saving light bulbs will not only save you money, they are better for the environment.

Neglecting HVAC Maintenance

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A neglected HVAC system struggles to function efficiently, consuming more energy to maintain desired temperatures. This translates to higher utility bills throughout the year. As well as regularly changing air filters, you should schedule a service once or twice a year with a qualified tradesperson.

Keeping Thermostat at Uncomfortable Temperatures

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Your HVAC system has to work much harder to maintain temperatures far above or below the recommended range, leading to significantly higher energy consumption and inflated utility bills. It is essential to change your thermostats seasonally for ultimate efficiency.

Leaky Faucets and Pipes

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You will be surprised that even a slow drip can waste gallons of water per day, significantly increasing your monthly water bill. Additionally, undetected leaks in pipes behind walls or under floors can cause extensive (and costly) water damage. If you notice a small leak, you should tighten loose connections, replace worn-out washers, or call a plumber for more complex repairs.

Running Water Unnecessarily

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Even short bursts of unnecessary water flow, like leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth, can add up over time, leading to inflated water bills. While you don’t necessarily need a tradesperson to tell this, sometimes a little reminder to turn off your taps is handy.

Watering Lawn Excessively

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Excessively watering your lawn leads to higher water usage, translating to inflated water bills, especially during dry seasons when water restrictions might be in place. Instead, water deeply and less frequently to encourage more profound root growth and water efficiency.

Not Fixing Irrigation System Leaks

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Even small leaks in your irrigation system can waste significant amounts of water, leading to inflated water bills, especially during the peak watering season. Schedule regular inspections by a qualified professional to identify and fix leaks before they cause significant damage.

Using Older, Inefficient Appliances

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Outdated appliances often use more energy per cycle than newer, energy-efficient models. This means you will raise higher electricity or gas bills, mainly if you use these appliances frequently. You should assess your appliance usage and identify areas where upgrading to a more efficient model could make a significant difference.

Not Sealing Attic Air Leaks

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Unsealed attics are more susceptible to moisture intrusion, leading to mold growth, water damage, and structural problems requiring expensive repairs. Addressing such problems early prevents them from snowballing into costly repairs later.

Attempting DIY Repairs Without Proper Knowledge or Skills

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Without the know-how, your DIY attempt might leave the issue unresolved or worsen it, requiring professional intervention and additional costs. Unless you have experience with a particular project, it is best to hire a professional rather than watch a video on how to attempt it yourself.

Not Closing Heat Registers

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Closed registers in some rooms can disrupt the intended airflow from your HVAC system, leading to uneven temperatures throughout your home. To maintain your desired temperature in occupied rooms, your system might have to work harder, increasing energy consumption and potentially raising your energy bills. It would help if you prioritized maintaining comfortable temperatures in occupied rooms while considering ways to minimize energy use in unused areas.

Not Insulating Walls

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Uninsulated walls act like sieves, allowing heat to escape in winter and cool air to escape in summer. Your HVAC system will have to work harder and longer to maintain comfortable temperatures, leading to higher energy bills. Studies estimate that up to 35% of your heating energy is lost through uninsulated walls.

Overlooking Warranties

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It is essential to take the time to understand and utilize product warranties for free repairs or replacements. If the product breaks outside the manufacturer’s warranty period, you’ll be responsible for the total cost of repair or replacement, which can be significant depending on the product.

Using Too Much Hot Water

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Heating water requires energy, whether electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil. The more hot water you use, the more energy your water heater needs to produce, translating to higher energy bills. Taking shorter showers, washing clothes at lower temperatures, and only using the dishwasher when it is complete are all ways to save on hot water.

Forgetting to Reglaze Windows

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Over time, windows lose their thermal performance due to worn-out glazing, leading to heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. This forces your HVAC system to work harder, potentially increasing energy bills. Replacing single-pane glass with double-pane or energy-efficient glazing can lead to more substantial savings.

Not Utilizing Energy-Saving Rebates and Incentives

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Rebates and incentives can significantly lower the initial cost of energy-efficient upgrades, such as installing new appliances, insulation, or solar panels. Many people aren’t aware of the available rebates and incentives, so look up this information on local government websites.

Effortless Ways to Earn Money While You Sleep

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If you are looking to boost your bank balance, take a look at these 16 easy ways to make money while you sleep.

High-Potential Careers Where Experience is Not Needed

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If you have little experience in working different jobs but you are looking for a well-paid career, take a look at these low-skill, high-paid jobs.

Legit Ways to Make $200 in One Day

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Are you in need of some extra cash and want to make $200 a day quickly? Whether you have an unexpected expense, want to supplement your income, or just want to work from home, there are numerous legitimate ways to achieve this goal.

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