Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home


Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on upkeep? Here are the 10 most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

Using Traditional Light Bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. While the initial expense of replacing every light bulb in your home at once may be high, it can be a significant savings over the long run.

Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Your water bill is typically tiered for the more water you use, you pay a higher rate in each tier. Fix or replace your leaks immediately and save a ton on your water bill. For most cities, if you provide proof of a repaired leak, they can modify your water bill to charge you the lowest tiered rate on past bills.

Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won’t regret it.

Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you’re away at the office all day, you can program your HVAC to shift down a few degrees while you’re gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you’re never around to see what you’re actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you’re not around.

Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don’t keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer and bump it back up when winter comes.

Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for the outside temperatures to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their AC or turn on the heat in winter. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to avoid spending extra on your utility bill. Old, cracked caulk can also lead to water entering your home, so it’s a good idea to check this periodically.

Paying a Handyman

Don’t pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money. You may be surprised at your skills!

Ignoring Roof Maintenance

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. The AZ sun will easily crack roof tiles and mortar caps, leading to potential roof leaks. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later. It’s also a good idea to have a roofing professional evaluate your roof every few years instead of being taken by surprise when a monsoon hits.


For other tips on home maintenance, give me a call at 480-355-8645 or reach out on our Contact page! I’m happy to help save you money on your current home or, if you’re thinking of moving, get you a great deal on your dream home.

About the Author
Gina McKinley
Gina is an Associate Broker with Gina McKinley Group LLC and the Team Leader for The Gina McKinley Group. She is dedicated to selling homes in Arizona and passionate about providing the ultimate customer service experience through her expertise in the field. The Gina McKinley Group has served the Scottsdale and Chandler real estate market for over 25 years.