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3 expensive but common mistakes homeowners make with home maintenance

By Guste Feb 15, 2018

Do you ever just look at your energy bill and think, “There must be a mistake”? Oh boy, haven’t we all been there. And while it’s hard to admit, the mistakes are usually ours.

Like a car, a house needs proper care and maintenance. Neglecting regular checks, ignoring saving opportunities and developing irresponsible habits over time can compound into huge energy costs.

Here are three home maintenance tasks commonly overlooked by homeowners. Learn how to prevent the bill shock.

  1. Not customizing home temperature

Ever forgotten to turn off the heating before leaving the house and returned to a sauna? Then you should consider installing a smart thermostat. By providing a better control of your heating as well as remote access, the smart thermostat can generate up to 30% in savings. Some thermostats may include hot water control as part of the package, which should increase the savings even further.

Smart thermostats come in a variety of different models with different functionalities and at different prices, and can typically cost anything in the range of £200-£300.  Installing a smart thermostat at home could save you around £200 a year on average, which means the purchase would pay off in one year.

It’s worth saying though that smart thermostats are only useful if they’re used, so consider that before pulling your credit card out.

  1. Overpaying for electricity

Money not saved is money wasted, it’s that simple.

During the busiest times of the day, such as late afternoons or evenings, the price of electricity peaks. Unless you’re consciously trying to save on the electricity bill, you probably have the lights on everywhere when you return home from work, the TV is on, maybe you pop a wash on too, followed by the dishwasher… The truth is, we spend most of our days away from the house, returning home during peak evening consumption hours. This means we have to pay the premium price even for the basic electricity needs. So, what can be done?

If the roof of your house is decked out with solar panels, the fastest and simplest way to slash your electricity bill is to install battery storage for solar PV. PV battery storage allows you to store unused electricity instead of sending it back to the grid and utilise it when the prices are highest, allowing you to save up to £600 per year on your energy bills (when working together with solar panels). What’s the point in generating your own electricity if you don’t get to reap the benefits?

Haven’t gone solar yet? We might be a little biased here, but it’s probably one of the smartest decisions you will make, and it will start paying for itself very quickly. Until that happens, work on changing your electricity usage habits: turn off the power strip that runs your TV and other gadgetry, always unplug your laptop before leaving the house or going to bed, switch off the lights when you leave the room, and so on. It will be hard at first, but it will prove worthwhile when the bill arrives.

  1. Ignoring leaks

Even the seemingly “harmless” water leaks can cause a lot of damage. A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 13,000 litres of water per year, which equates to 180 showers. In areas where water is not plentiful, this mistake can cost a real fortune.

Besides the financial factor, there’s also a risk that a small leak can cause huge damage to carpet, laminated floor, drywall, insulation and even structural supports, such as floor joists or wall studs. Ignoring water leaks can also harm your health if mould or mildew starts to develop. Never turn a blind eye to a leaky faucet or a plumbing leak, no matter how small it may seem.

Lessons to take away

Evidently, your house needs to go through a vigorous check-up every now and then. To keep your energy costs low and your house well-maintained, you should put together a maintenance checklist to help you prevent unnecessary expenses. With new technologies and energy solutions popping up every day, you can be saving effortlessly if you keep on top of the trends (and routine maintenance chores).