These Home Money Pits Hide in Plain Sight

With the exception of major issues such as foundation repairs or flooding, homes are rarely the nightmarish money pits exaggerated for comedic effect in the 1986 movie of the same name. However, many homes do contain smaller money pits that hide in plain sight by draining your wallet slowly over time. These little problems never draw enough attention to warrant solving, but doing so can save you a shocking amount of money in the long run. Keep reading to learn about 5 of the most common home money pits and how you can eliminate them!

1. Incandescent Light Bulbs

If you are still using old, incandescent light bulbs in your home, you should swap them out ASAP. Yes, they are much cheaper to purchase than energy efficient LEDs, but LEDs will actually save you significant cash in the long run. Old bulbs use much more electricity because only about 10% of the energy they consume becomes light; the rest is wasted in the form of heat. Incandescent bulbs also burn out much faster than LEDs (which last for years), meaning they'll need to be replaced much more often. In fact, Energy.gov estimates that replacing just five of your most frequently used lights with LEDs will save you $75 each year! You can read more about the differences between light bulbs here.

2. Neglected Air Conditioners

In the summer, air conditioners account for a huge amount of a home's utility bills. To keep your unit working as efficiently as possible, make sure that you replace the filter each year before the warm weather sets in for the season. It's also important to remember to maintain the exterior area as well. Don't let bushes or other plants obstruct airflow into the unit's vents. The harder the A.C. has to work for air, the more energy it will use and the faster it will wear out.

3. Refrigerator

We've all done it: some food item that you fully intend on eating gets pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten until it's too late. The average American household throws away about $2,000 worth of food per year, and this is one of the major culprits. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this problem, but you can reduce your waste by keeping the most perishable items in the front where they are visible. Also, improve your fridge's efficiency by cleaning dust off those metal coils in the back every once in a while.

4. Landline

There are still people out there who pay for a landline phone in their house, even though they also pay for the cell phone that's in their pocket. Companies often bundle the service in with internet or cable for a small extra fee, but whatever you pay is still too much. Cut the cord!

5. "Energy Vampires"

Also known as "everything you leave plugged in all the time", energy vampires slowly drain electricity even when they are turned off. The worst offenders are TVs, video game consoles, and computers according to MarketWatch. By getting in the habit of unplugging things that aren't in use, you can reduce your electricity bill by about 10%!

Learn more about these and other money pits by checking out "6 Shocking Money Pits Hiding in Your Home".