01Homeowners often bear through spikes in utility bills due to small things that add up over time – especially in the Winter months.

Changing simple things in a home can save money, and make your home more comfortable. It can even salvage a sale.

1. Insulate the attic trap door
Insulating and weather stripping the attic door is one of the easiest and most cost effective actions you can take. It can eliminate a large loss of energy as well as prevent moisture in your attic preventing future problems later on.

2. Lower the temperature of the water heater
Lower your water heater to the lowest comfortable setting. Storing a tank of hot water is a continuous loss of heat. Heating the water to a lower temperature can save energy. Turn the dial down on your water heater and check for comfort within the next 24 hours.

3. Set your thermostat wisely
Lowing your set temperature by 1 degree can save you up to 3% of your heating bill. During the summer leave your air conditioning set at one temperature. Refrain from turning it on and off. It removes moisture from the air making your home more comfortable

4. Insulate the band joist
The Band Joist is located above the basement wall between the first floor joists. If there is a large gap it could be allowing major heat loss. On the outside this area is near the ground and is exposed to weather. One way to tell is to look up at the area on a sunny day. If you can see the sun peaking through then you need to close that gap.

5. Weather-strip and Caulking
Do a yearly check of all the caulking near any exterior entrance including windows and doors. Eliminating drafts can save money as well as make your home more comfortable.

6. Use sealers inside storms
If you have any drafty old windows that you don’t plan on opening during winter seal them with removable caulk. It is also fairly simple and cost effective to cover windows with plastic and securely sealing the perimeter.

7. Install a low-flow showerhead
Low flow showerheads use less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Add a flow control valve to allow each person to be able to control his or her water pressure. This can save a lot of money on your water bill.

8. Install light controls
Install 15 min light sensors in closets, and movement sensors outside to help eliminate lights being on unnecessarily. One of the most common wastes of energy is forgetting to turn off a light switch when you are no longer in a room. In spaces like closets that can be even tricker because depending on what it’s use is and where it is located there may not be anyone to come behind you and turn it off.

9. Stop all water leaks
Fixing a leaking faucet can save both energy and water. A small drip can fill a coffee cup in approximately 10min. That same drip wastes roughly 3,280gallons of water every year. That wasting water also has energy costs attached to it in the form of being pumped, heated and treated in the sewer system. One small leak could be costing a lot.

10. Switch to florescent bulbs
Florescent light bulbs last 10 times as long, and costs a quarter of what incandescent lightbulbs while still producing the same amount of light. Florescent bulbs can be purchased to fit almost any light source.