Topic: Blog

You Are Overpaying Your Energy Bills

You Are Overpaying Your Energy Bills

- by Pacific Side Construction - Serving Oregon and Washington for over 15 years!

 

We realize we just made a very bold statement.  Probably too bold, right?  In all honesty, no.  Let us explain...  Throughout our years of experience, going from home to home, helping home owners not only with their home maintenance, but also save them money, we have seen a lot.  Something you may not have realized as well is that technology is moving forward at lightening speed and new ways to save money are popping up constantly!

 

So, what are we talking about here?  You might be overpaying your energy bills due to your home using up more resources and not being fully energy efficient.  A lot of people picture solar panels and candles when they hear energy efficient, but that's not the case (well, at least not now).  Yes, you can go as far as installing solar panels and just go fully green...but let's see where your home is now and what you can do immediately to make your home more energy efficient and start lowering your energy bills.

 

Here are a few of our tips that we have seen home owners make mistakes on:

 

  • Lower your thermostat - when you are not home.  Dropping the temperature by just 3 - 5 degrees will reduce your monthly utility bill and use less energy, thus providing an overall savings of approximately 5%-15% of per year!
  • Limit portable space heater use - although electric and gas space heaters keep you nice and toasty in cooler weather, they aren’t the most efficient way to keep your home warm.  Many space heaters use 1,500 watts of energy to run and are considered to be a very costly way to drain your energy bill.  This also applies to gas fireplaces.  Using those to maintain heat in your home can add hundreds of dollars to your energy bill every month!  If you do decide to use a portable heater, make sure it has an "energy efficient" label on it.  Better yet, see bullet points below so you know how to optimally preserve heat in your home.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs - this one is huge!  In 2014, manufacturers stopped producing 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent lightbulbs (100-watt and 75-watt bulbs were already phased out).  Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs offer longer lasting light and are more energy-efficient than your old incandescent bulbs. Since the average home uses 40 bulbs, switching over to greener bulbs will significantly reduce your electrical bill.
  • Unplug unused chargers - cell phone and battery chargers that are plugged in but not in use are often referred to as energy hogs (money down the toilet right there).  Alone, one charger won’t make much impact, but collectively energy hogs can be responsible for 10% of your energy bill.  So, always unplug your chargers when not in use.
  • Install low-flow shower heads - might not look "energy-efficient" at first, but low-flow shower heads have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute), while most conventional shower heads use 5 gallons per minute.  This is double the savings right there!
  • Turn off unnecessary water - while we are all used to convenience, it is not a good idea to run half full dishwashers, washers and dryers.  A full load means more clothes get washed at once, which in turn conserves water (and money - we are talking up to $170 per year!).
  • Seal all windows - inspect your windows for leaks and the status of caulking.  As we shared in our previous blog post (Is Your Caulking In Danger?), caulking is not only crucial to the safety and well-being of your home, but also can be an energy drain if it's damaged.
  • Add insulation to your attic - adding additional insulation to your attic can help seal air leaks and improve your home’s heating and cooling costs, while preserving more heat.  The amount of insulation needed to cover your attic depends on your home’s size.  This expense is much less than having to drain money down due to air leaks, especially in colder seasons.
  • Buy all Energy Star products - Energy Star-qualified appliances (refrigerators, televisions, stoves, washers and air conditioners) use 10-50% less energy than standard appliances!
  • Perform an energy audit - consider hiring a professional to inspect your home and evaluate the inefficiencies and wasted energy in your home.  You might spend some money, but save tens of thousands in the long run!  You can get in touch with us by going to Contact Us.

 

Make your home super energy efficient and save a lot of your hard-earned money by greatly decreasing your energy bill costs.

 

- Brought to you by Pacific Side Construction

 

 

 

 


Is Your Caulking In Danger?

Is Your Caulking In Danger?

- by Pacific Side Construction - Serving Oregon and Washington for over 15 years!

 

We know that with each season, there come things that just, oh let's say, we don't think about.  Today, we will talk about one of those:  your outside/siding caulking and your inside caulking.  Is it in danger and is it causing danger to your home?

 

First, why would it, right?

 

The dangers unveiled...

 

Weather changes can cause the caulking to constrict, freeze (in really bad weather) and in turn, it dries.  Now, for the inside, when the weather get colder, you start closing up your windows, covering them to preserve the heat and this process can cause increased moisture collection inside your home.  Then, the heat gets turned on, and same thing happens as to outside caulking:  it dries.  Just drying alone is one thing, but because it dried, this can cause more significant issues for home owners.  Heating has the tendency to dry the interior out, but in doing so can encourage expansion and contraction of interior materials and cause cracks in caulking and drywall, doors that don't fit, separating wood trim, heaved floors, and many other problems.  Those could cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars in repairs!

 

On the outside, you might start seeing leaks and cracks in the siding due to tension created by dry caulking.  You might also see water pipes cracked from freezing, have slowly leaked all winter (due to caulking going bad or improper sealing) and causing 3 to 4 inches of water to collect throughout the crawl.  Crawl spaces must be sealed up during the winter months.  Any vents need to be closed, outside access needs to be sealed and any holes need to be caulked or foamed.  If this is done properly, these areas usually will stay above freezing just from the warmth radiated down from the living space above.  The problem here however is that the crawl space now will become colder, negatively affecting any plumbing present.

 

So, bottom line is good caulking and sealing is very important to the well-being of your home.

 

Knowing this and the fact that winter and spring were pretty cold, it is time to have your caulking inspected thoroughly.  If you know how to do it, then get to it as soon as you can.

 

Now, if you are someone who is unsure or unable to, let us help you.  After all, even if you do know, you might miss important areas of your home that you might not even know caulking existed in.  We will check for state of caulking, any dryness or leaks, or any other issues that your house might need help with.

 

Let the professionals at Pacific Side Construction do what they do best!  Check out our Services section for our best deals.  We guarantee our work and offer lowest prices!

 

- Brought to you by Pacific Side Construction

How To Clean Your Gutters Without Damages

How To Clean Your Gutters Without Damages

- by Pacific Side Construction - Serving Oregon and Washington for over 15 years!

 

Cleaning your gutters may be a pesky job, but can save you thousands of dollars in damage!  What a lot of people don't realize is that clogged gutters are not simply clogged gutters.  Clogged gutters are a danger to your siding, landscape plantings, and foundation.  All the dirt, debris, tree leaves, pines needless and gunk can collect in the gutters, clogging up main drainage, angle connectors, thus posing a risk to your whole home.  To put it simply, clean gutters are a must!

 

Gutters should get your attention at least twice a year at the bare minimum, before each season and if there are storms in the forecast.

 

Here are a few tips to clean your gutters, without any damage:

 

  • Wear suitable comfortable clothing (a shirt with long sleeves). Wear rubber gloves as well.
  • Have a good extendable ladder available.  Standoff stabilizers (ladder “horns”) are ideal to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
  • Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk. Buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store such as Home Depot, Lowe's or even Walmart ($25) or try a kids’ sand shovel.
  • Lay out a plastic tarp for debris.  This will spare your lawn.
  • After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.  As you are doing that, this is also a great time to do a visual inspection of the condition of your gutters.
  • Once you are finished with inspection, install gutter covers.  These are available at your local home/hardware store and add one layer of protection, potentially slowing down gutter clogging quite a bit.

 

Should you do it yourself?

You also have the option of hiring professionals to do the job for you.  It is better to pay someone than pay the thousands of dollars in damages later.  This is saving you the physical stress or possible physical trauma (from slippery roof) and the need to go out and buy tools, as well.  Check out our Services section for our best deals.  We guarantee our work and offer lowest prices!

- Brought to you by Pacific Side Construction