Do you break out in a cold sweat when your utility bill arrives? Knoxville homeowners don't want to spend any more than necessary on their utilities, but that's exactly what happens when your house is in desperate need of home repair services.
You may be worried that hiring a professional handyman to take care of home repairs will stretch your budget too thin, but there are actually some repair projects that can save you a lot of money in the long run by taking the sting out of your energy costs.
This guide explains how six home repair services from Mr. Handyman of West Knoxville can reduce your utility bill by making your house more energy efficient. Our skilled service professionals have around 20 years of hands-on experience in repair trades on average, so we can find an effective solution for the problems that are needlessly draining your bank account.
1. Wood Rot Repair
The reason we're putting wood rot repair in the number one spot is because it's a huge cause of energy loss and many people are not aware of how damaging it can be, both to your wallet and to the structural stability and comfort of your house.
Wood rot is a form of decay that requires timber to have a moisture content of 20% or higher in order to begin spreading. That makes any wooden elements on the exterior of your house, such as door and window frames, particularly vulnerable to rot, because they are constantly being exposed to rain and humidity. However, once rot takes hold, it can spread to the interior of your house and cause damage there as well.
Rotting timber softens and crumbles apart, degrading the seal around doors and windows. The gaps let in air drafts that change the temperature in your house and force your HVAC system to work much harder to compensate—and of course, that uses more energy and increases your utility bill considerably. Our handymen are very experienced with wood rot mitigation in Knoxville, so they know how to find and eliminate it completely and may be able to catch stuff that others would miss.
2. Siding Repair
Exterior siding is your home's armor, it's a first line of defense against factors such as rough weather and wildlife damage (if you have wood siding, you know all about the damage that can be caused by woodpeckers). But when your siding is looking worse-for-wear, it can't do its job to protect your home. Problems such as cracks, holes, gaps, and missing pieces in your siding let moisture into the interior of your walls, where it can fester and cause problems such as mildew and wood rot.
The effects are similar to the issues with rotten trim, making your home a lot less comfortable and raising your energy costs by causing your HVAC system to work overtime. Even if you don't notice any obvious holes or gaps in your siding, you should examine it from multiple angles for signs of warping or bulging, which can indicate that moisture is building up underneath. Whether you need a few repairs to your siding or a complete replacement, our improvement professionals can provide repair assistance that will get your siding looking and functioning at its best again.
3. Drywall Repair
You may be skeptical that drywall has much to do with energy efficiency—after all, there's no drywall on the outside of your house. While the average drywall ding may not make much of a difference, more serious problems such as holes or cracks in drywall can cause big problems by allowing warm or cool air to escape into the wall. Essentially you're paying to heat the inside of your walls, and since nobody lives in there, that's a big waste of money—which is why drywall repair is one of the affordable home repairs that can make a difference on your bill. Moisture damage issues such as wall or ceiling water stains are also a huge problem that needs professional attention, because it's a sign that common water leaks could be lurking underneath.
Our drywall experts will take care of every part of the repair process, including removing old drywall, mudding, sanding, and joint taping. We'll refinish the wall with a fresh coat of paint so the repair is invisible, and clean up the mess afterward. We can even rehang your framed photos and curtains so everything looks even better than it did when we arrived!
4. Water Heater Insulation
If you have a conventional water heater, it uses a lot of energy by continuously heating a huge tank of water so there's hot water available whenever you turn on the tap. We can help it to perform better by adding a cozy foil "jacket" to the tank that allows hot water heaters to retain heat more easily. That means it will use less energy in heating your water, which will lower your utility costs.
Bonus Tip: Lower Temperature on Water Heater
Want your water heater to hog less energy? There's a simple trick that will help: lower the temperature settings on the heater. Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees by the manufacturer, but that's not necessary—you want a hot bath but you don't want to be scalded, which is why most people mix cold water in to lower the temperature. Setting it 20 degrees lower will reduce your energy costs and the water will still be as hot or hotter than you'd want to use.
5. Dryer Vent Cleaning
Automatic clothes dryers are marvelously convenient, but they need something to keep operating safely and efficiently: dryer vent cleaning. Your dryer uses the vent to get rid of hot, humid air from damp laundry. Dryer lint and other debris is supposed to be caught in the lint trap, but over time it builds up inside the vent and partially or completely blocks the air flow. Because the dryer can't vent, it struggles to dry your clothing and uses a lot more energy for every load, significantly increasing your costs.
However, there's a much worse problem with clogged dryer vents. The struggling dryer can create a spark that lights the lint on fire, sending flames racing through the walls of your home. Nearly 3,000 dryer fires are reported every year in the United States, causing injury, death, and staggering property loss. That's why clothes dryer repair and vent cleaning is so crucial to the safety of your home and family.
It's difficult to say exactly how often you need dryer vent cleaning since some people use their dryers more than others, but once per year is a good rule for the average family. A large family with a lot of laundry may need it as frequently as every six months. You can help by always cleaning out the lint trap after every load of laundry.
6. Porch Screen & Awning Installation
This may seem basic, but it can help a lot—especially if you have exterior walls that are exposed to direct sunlight for much of the day. By screening in a porch or adding awnings, you shade your exterior walls and help to prevent the hot sun from raising the temperature inside your house, which gives your air conditioner a break and causes it to use less energy. As an added bonus, you get a cool, shady place to relax outdoors!
Want to Pay Less on Your Utility Bill? Mr. Handyman Home Repairs Can Help!
Whether you're in West Knoxville, Powell, or a nearby area, you can rely on Mr. Handyman of West Knoxville to help lower your energy costs. We're your convenient, one-call solution for everything from minor home repairs to major projects—and yes, that includes non-energy-related repairs!
Give us a call today to request a service appointment and find out what we can do to make your home more comfortable and save you money.