Do you have a large budget for home repair services? According to a report by insurance company Hippo, homeowners spend around $6,000 to repair and maintain their homes. And according to another study by Angi, most people incur around $1,953 on emergency repairs, $2,467 on maintenance, and $8,484 on improvements. Unfortunately, most of these expenses are unnecessary and could be avoided by identifying and fixing various issues around the house. If you’re a homeowner, below are some of the top ways your home could be secretly wasting your money.
With a Faulty HVAC System
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air conditioning accounts for up to 13% of energy bills – and up to 27% in hot and humid areas. The high portion of energy expenditure is understandable, given how vital HVAC systems are to the heating and cooling of your home. However, it’s possible that your unit is inefficient and thus secretly wasting your money.
One of the top ways your HVAC system could be costing you money is with a dirty furnace. Dirt build-up slows the airflow, forcing your unit to consume more power to keep your home warm – hence high energy bills. Therefore, you need to hire regular furnace cleaning services to keep your HVAC system clean and running efficiently, thus saving you money.
Your HVAC unit could also have other hidden issues like clogged drain pipes, refrigerant leaks, faulty thermostats, loose wires, etc. These issues can cause the short cycling of your system and other inefficiencies, resulting in high energy costs. Fortunately, you can prevent and fix most of these problems with regular HVAC maintenance.
Lastly, your HVAC unit could be wasting your money if it’s too old. Old systems are usually inefficient and require constant and expensive maintenance and repairs to keep them running. To fix this, you should replace your unit with a more efficient one, which, according to Energy Star, can save you up to 20% in energy bills.
With Poor Insulation
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a typical American homeowner spends around $2,000 annually on energy bills. And out of this, between $200 and $400 are unnecessary expenditures because of – among other issues – poor insulation. So, if you’re worried about high energy bills, checking on your insulation could reveal hidden problems in your home that are secretly wasting your money.
Insufficient (or no) insulation is one of the problems in your home that could cost you money. Additionally, your house’s insulation could be damaged because of normal wear & tear, mold damage, water damage, pest & animal damage, etc. These issues can lead to energy loss, increasing heating and cooling costs.
You can spot these insulation problems by conducting a DIY home energy assessment. Some top signs to look out for include rooms that are unusually cool or hot than the rest of the house, unexplained heat loss, ice build-up on the roof, mold infestation, and pest nests. Alternatively, you can hire professional energy audit services to unearth insulation issues and other hitches causing your home to leak energy.
Then, you should hire a contractor to fix any insulation problems in your home. This will instantly improve your home’s energy efficiency, leading to huge savings on energy bills. In addition, according to Energy Star, you can recover up to 30% in tax credits for insulation upgrades you make in your home.
With Window Leaks
Leaking windows is another top way your house could be wasting your money. According to the Department of Energy, energy loss through leaky windows can account for up to 30% of your heating and cooling bills. Therefore, this is one of the top areas you should address to lower your home’s maintenance costs.
You can do a DIY assessment (checking for cold or hot drafts or lighting a candle near windows) if you suspect your windows are leaking air. However, for accurate results, you should hire the services of an energy auditor. And one you’ve detected any issues, you should hire a contractor to repair the leaks – which can be done by applying caulking and weatherstripping.
However, you should get replacement windows for your home if you’re dealing with something more significant than a small leak. This can save you from having to repair the leaky windows constantly. It will also improve your home’s energy efficiency – besides other benefits like improving the lighting and your house’s aesthetic appeal.
You can choose from many types of windows for replacements. Top options include fixed windows, awnings, and energy-star-rated windows that are popular for their high energy efficiency. However, you can also find several other options, such as windows with insulated glass, that can offer substantial energy-saving benefits.
With Electrical Problems
Is your electric bill unusually high? Your electrical system may have a problem – another top way your house could be wasting your money. But, apart from the increased utility costs, a faulty electrical system can lead to electrocution and house fires, making it imperative to fix it immediately.
One of the top ways your electrical system could be wasting your money is if the wiring is damaged. Exposed or frayed wires can cause heating up of connected appliances, leading to energy leakage. Additionally, faulty wiring can come into contact with other surfaces, causing short circuits that leak energy – on top of creating unsafe conditions in your home. Therefore, you must call an electrical contractor as soon as you notice or suspect an issue with your wiring.
Besides faulty wiring, inefficient light fixtures could be causing your high energy bills. Therefore, you should switch to energy-saving lights such as LED, which, according to the Department of Energy, can reduce your energy usage by up to 90%. You can also reduce your energy usage by switching off your lights when not in use or during the day.
Lastly, you can lose money in your home due to outdated appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers, laundry machines, etc. This is because older electrical devices are less energy efficient and need frequent maintenance and repairs. Therefore, you can save a lot of money by switching to newer and more energy-efficient models.
With Plumbing Leaks
Leaks are one of the most annoying plumbing issues you can experience. But, unfortunately, they could also be wasting your money in various hidden ways. As a result, you should immediately call for an emergency plumbing service the next time you notice a leak in your home.
One of the top ways that plumbing leaks can cost you money is through water wastage. According to the EPA, a leaking faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year, while a leaking showerhead will cost you 500 gallons. Such wastages can cause a massive spike in your water bills. Therefore, it’s essential to hire a contractor for the showerhead and bathroom faucet repair immediately after you notice a leak.
Besides wasting water, leaks can also cost you money through expensive damage to your home. For example, a leaking pipe can damage your home’s foundation – according to Angi, foundation repairs cost between $630 and $4,400. Additionally, plumbing leaks can damage appliances such as water heaters and HVAC units, costing thousands of dollars to replace.
However, it’s not just plumbing leaks that could be wasting your money. Like electrical systems, older and inefficient plumbing fixtures and appliances can also cost you money. For example, according to the EPA, older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush, while newer types of toilet use as little as 1.28 gallons. Therefore, on top of repairs, you should make water-efficient upgrades to your plumbing system.
With Siding Leaks
If you’re dealing with unusual energy bills, you might quickly blame common culprits such as windows and insulation. However, another part of your home could be secretly wasting your money – the siding. While it might not seem serious, a siding leak can cause several issues for your home that can be very expensive.
One of the top ways that a siding leak can cost you money is through poor insulation. Leaks can cause water damage to the insulation beneath the siding, causing it to be inefficient at cooling or heating your home. In addition, it’s also possible that there’s no insulation, in which case a siding leak can lead to high energy bills.
Besides lowering your home’s energy efficiency, leaky sidings can lead to expensive repairs. For example, according to HomeAdvisor, siding repair costs between $349 and $1,35. Additionally, the water from a leaking siding can cause mold damage to your walls and insulation. This will lead to more costs in the form of professional mold inspections and remediation and, in the worst case, rebuilding your home’s walls.
Given how costly siding leaks can be, fixing them as soon as possible is vital. Alternatively, you should hire residential stucco services to replace your current siding if the existing one is damaged beyond repair. The new siding can help fix any structural issues to your wall and make your home more energy efficient. It can also offer additional benefits, such as improving your home’s value and curb appeal.
With Roof Damage
The roof is one of the most essential parts of your home, with many functional roles ranging from protection against the elements to insulation. Therefore, it figures that damage to your roof can cause many other issues in your home. Some of these roof-related problems could even be hidden, thus wasting your money without your knowledge.
Inefficient insulation is one of the top ways roof damage may cost you money. After all, any damage to the roof is likely to affect the insulation, making it less efficient. And according to the Energy Saving Trust, up to 25% of heat can be lost through the roof, resulting in a significant increase in heating and cooling bills.
Apart from insulation problems, roof damage can also cause a water leak, damaging your insulation, wall, ceiling, floors, and foundation. It can also lead to more problems, such as mold growth. Additionally, the damage caused to the roof can be quite extensive, requiring expensive repairs or a complete roof replacement. These problems can be costly to fix – for example, according to Angi, restoring a home with water damage can cost between $1,304 and $5,699.
Therefore, it’s vital to hire a residential roofing contractor to fix up your roof immediately after you notice any signs of damage. You should also undertake regular roofing maintenance services to ensure your roof stays in top condition. And if necessary, you should consider roof replacement, especially if the existing one is prone to damages that require expensive repairs.
With Delayed Maintenance and Repairs
According to the National Association of Realtors, many homeowners delay maintaining and repairing their homes. In addition, according to Consumer Affairs, the average American home could face up to $3,150 in unrepaired issues. These delays often cause the problem to worsen over time, leading to more expensive repairs.
Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t realize how expensive a lack of maintenance and repairs can be. According to a survey by Thumbtack, most homes spend about $1,347 annually to maintain their HVAC systems, roof, water heater, and other appliances. However, failure to maintain them can lead to exorbitant expenses of up to $29,000 in replacements.
Failing to maintain or repair your home could also lead to problems such as pest infestation, insulation damage, water damage, and mold growth. Over time, these problems can lead to structural damage. Additionally, these issues can make your home unsafe – leading to disasters such as a fire or costly health problems for you and your family.
Lastly, failure to maintain or repair your home can negatively affect your home’s value. This can hurt you financially when selling or refinancing your home. Additionally, a lack of timely repairs and maintenance can lead to the cancellation of your homeowner’s insurance policy, which could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars should an accident occur.
To avoid all these problems, you should maintain a regular maintenance schedule for your home and hire contractors for repairs immediately after something comes up. On top of that, you should undertake regular home inspections to unearth any hidden issues that could be secretly wasting your money.
A house is an excellent investment that provides a good structure to build wealth. However, it’s possible for your home to be wasting your money – instead of improving your financial situation. The above are some of the top and often hidden things that could be incurring unnecessary expenses, and various tips on how to remedy them.