Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home

Posted on Oct 25 2016 - 1:23pm by Housecall

mistakes_homeBy Cary Teller

Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on upkeep? Here are 10 of the most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

1. Using Traditional Light bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home's bottom line.

2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.

3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won't regret it.

4. Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you're away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you're gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

6.Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you're never around to see what you're actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you're not around.

7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don't keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.

8. Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.

9. Paying a Handyman

Don't pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you're unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.

10. Ignoring Curled Shingles

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.

Use these 10 tips to cut maintenance costs on your home today.

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11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jay Seier November 11, 2016 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Great article, but i disagree on hiring a handyman. Its been my experience that getting the job done right the first time is a lot less expensive than doing a half hearted job yourself.

    • Herb Schwabe November 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      And you can prospect, if you are a Realtor. If they are great, add them to your list of vendors to share with your clients.

  2. Herb Schwabe November 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    No. 7 about hot water heater caused me to wonder why don’t water heater have programmable controls like heating system?

    They are heating the water during the night and while we are out of the house.

  3. Theresa November 12, 2016 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Jay, it said to forego the handyman when it’s a simple fix or the things that really any homeowner should know how to do themselves. Example, replace warn out parts in a toilet tank, replacing faucets, caulking windows/doors, etc. These types of tasks do not require a handyman.

    I love the note about the water heater. We recently purchased a second home and when the gas company came put to light the heater he set it really high. Told me, well cold weather will be here soon enough, so I set it for winter. It was July. Not something I really would have thought about .

  4. Joe Garcia November 13, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I prefer a licensed contractor vs a handyman done right the first time and accountability.

  5. Susan Chambers November 14, 2016 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Jay, being a Realtor I couldn’t agree more with a homeowner watching a youtube video and trying to fix property repairs themselves. Very often leads to unintentional problems down the road.

  6. Richard Bagnell November 22, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Nice list! I love my tankless water heater and it is a big deal for reducing the electric bill. Also, don’t forget the LEDs in your outdoor lighting, you will see the results in your bill.

    When you’re ready to save water, get at least one water barrel on a gutter down spout. This water is FREE, not treated, and great for the potted plants and veggie gardens…….When I sold my last house the buyer insisted I leave my water barrels.

  7. Ruven January 2, 2017 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Thank you for reminding us. As responsible adults, homeowners, and investors (all tenants too ) we should know in how to save the resources and avoid waste them. More importante teach, others specially the kids the importance of this message. Starting in how to use water in the shower, clouse and open do not keep runing water entire time. If we do not learn as we grow later is going to be difficult. Let’s do it, follow the instrucción.

  8. Ruben January 2, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply

    From Miami Lakes 305-790-3131
    I will help you to fallow the instructions in how to avoid the most expensive mistakes at your home.

  9. laminate countertop @expresskitchen April 17, 2017 at 3:28 am - Reply

    During home renovation of after that there are several mistakes that we do but are still ignored and later on that mistake can cause a big problem. Thanks for sharing the common mistakes that we do on our homes, now it will be a bit easy to avoid such mistakes.

  10. wilmer May 17, 2017 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    This is an eye opener. Thank you for reminding us. I will definitely follow all these.

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