18 Things in Your Home That Are Wasting Your Money

Written By Jill Taylor

Home expenses can catch you off guard and drain your wallet, so spotting hidden costs in your home helps you save money. There are many common household items that might be costing you more than you think. Here are 18 things in your home that are wasting your money.

Hidden Leaks

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Kiplinger informs us, “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year.” Water leaks at home can really hike up your water bill without you even noticing, and checking your plumbing, faucets, and pipes regularly can help catch them early.

Inefficient Light Bulbs

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Old light bulbs waste money and this is especially true of incandescent bulbs, which use more electricity than LEDs or CFLs. Switching to energy-efficient bulbs cuts your electric bill and helps the environment.

Old Appliances

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One thing to keep in mind is that older appliances are often less energy-efficient than modern models. Refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers that are outdated can use significantly more power. Upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient appliances can result in lower utility bills, so make sure you invest in the latest technology.

Phantom Power

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Many electronics still use power when they’re off, also known as phantom power, which can hike up your electricity bill. To save money, unplug devices when you’re not using them or use power strips to easily turn them off. Cutting down on phantom power can lead to noticeable savings.

Single-Pane Windows

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We all know that single-pane windows don’t insulate well. They let heat out in the winter, which causes sky-high energy bills. Switching to double-pane or energy-efficient windows improves insulation, lowers costs, and makes your home more comfortable. While the initial cost can be expensive, it’ll soon pay off.

Poor Insulation

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It may be time to consider insulation in your home. Houses without good insulation let heat escape in the winter and cool air leak in the summer. This makes heating and cooling systems work extra hard, hiking up energy bills.

Old HVAC Systems

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Unsurprisingly, old or poorly maintained HVAC systems can be expensive. They use more energy and need frequent repairs, so sometimes it’s best to bite the bullet and order a new one. Regular maintenance and timely upgrades to efficient models will save money, and a new, well-maintained system will work better and last longer.

Overusing Hot Water

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As much as we all love a long, warm shower, using too much hot water can spike your energy bills. It’s not just showers, though. Running half-full dishwashers and washing clothes in hot water all add up, so to save money, be mindful of hot water use and choose energy-efficient appliances.

Not Using Programmable Thermostats

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You may want to think about changing how you use your thermostat, as manually adjusting it wastes energy. Programmable thermostats give you precise control of your home’s temperature, cutting down on waste. Set schedules to match your daily routine and save on heating and cooling costs. This small investment can lead to big savings.

Leaving Electronics On

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If you’re finished using something, then you should always turn it off, as leaving computers, TVs, and other electronics on when not in use wastes electricity. Turning off devices when you’re done or using energy-saving settings can reduce power use.

Inefficient Showerheads

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Something that may sound surprising is that traditional showerheads can use a lot of water, and this will increase both your water and energy bills. Installing low-flow showerheads can significantly reduce water usage without sacrificing pressure.

Not Using Ceiling Fans

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You should always make use of your ceiling fan, as it can help circulate air, reducing the need for constant heating and cooling. Using fans to supplement your HVAC system can lower energy usage. During the summer, fans can make rooms feel cooler, and in the winter, they can help distribute warm air.

Ignoring Air Filters

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Make sure you regularly check any air filters, as dirty ones force HVAC systems to work harder, consuming more energy. Regularly replacing or cleaning air filters can improve system efficiency and reduce energy costs. This simple maintenance task is often overlooked but can lead to significant savings and a longer-lasting HVAC system.

Using the Wrong Detergents

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There may be a particular detergent you love using, but excessive amounts or the wrong type can damage appliances and increase costs. High-efficiency washers require specific detergents to function properly. Following manufacturer recommendations, ensure your appliances run efficiently and last longer. Proper detergent use can save money on repairs and energy bills.

Inefficient Toilets

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An outdated bathroom may be costing you more than you realize, as older toilets use more water per flush compared to modern, water-efficient models. Upgrading to low-flow toilets can reduce water usage significantly. This change not only saves on water bills but also benefits the environment.

Poor Landscaping Practices

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Keeping your lawn in its best condition can cost you more than you think, as overwatering gardens can lead to high water bills. Using efficient watering techniques, such as drip irrigation or rain sensors, can conserve water and reduce costs.

Outdated Water Heaters

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Is it time to think about replacing your water heater? Any that are old or poorly maintained consume more energy. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of outdated units can improve efficiency. Consider upgrading to tankless water heaters, which heat water on demand and use less energy.

Not Using Window Treatments

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Installing window treatments like blinds, curtains, or shades helps regulate indoor temperatures, with bare windows losing more energy in the home. These treatments can block heat in the summer and retain warmth in the winter, reducing the need for heating and cooling. Effective window treatments can lower energy bills significantly.

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