A PAIR of twins have been in the home repair game for 40 years – and they have some tips that could save households thousands of dollars.
The inspiration for Dave and Jim Schuelke came from their father, who was a plumbing contractor in Palm Springs, California.
David Schuelke Sr. started to rain his expertise on his twin sons when they turned 14.
That led both Dave and Jim to start up their own business, which is known as Twin Home Experts.
“[We] grew it from there; from one truck that our dad gave us in a box of tools to 120 employees and almost $10million of revenue,” Dave told The Sun.
Now as business owners, they’ve evolved from “just” plumbers.
The twins have expanded their outreach to mold and water damage, handling insurance claims, and even helping with rodent problems.
“That sort of evolved into becoming sort of the experts in solving mysterious issues like sewer odors and rat infestations,” Dave said.
But then in 2013, it was time to start getting involved with social media to boost their brand.
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They needed to get leads but their marketing budget was too expensive – so they turned to YouTube.
Since then they have been sharing tips with users on how to save households money to their do-it-yourself (DIY) following.
At the time, this earned them 4million views per month.
Jim and Dave decided to take a step further and expanded their social media presence to TikTok in 2020.
They got the idea from a marketing event they attended in San Diego, California.
“Now we get about 22 to 25million views a month on our TikTok channel just showing people how to do things around their home,” Jim said.
On TikTok and YouTube, the two 54-year-old twins have a combined 780,000 followers.
Both Jim and Dave are married with kids.
Jim has three kids aged 19, 14 and 12, while Dave has two girls who are 19 and 15.
Here are some savings tips that Dave and Jim shared with The Sun.
Take advantage of tax credits
Around the house, you need to be aware that you can take advantage of tax credits.
Jim used an example of your air conditioner not working on a hot day.
By just adding a misting device, this will cool the coils down and help the efficiency of your system in the long term.
And you’ll get a tax credit.
“If you get one that’s green technology, you could save up to like 30% on your energy bill a year,” Jim said.
Now keep in mind, you may have to lay some money out.
For example, misting devices could cost as much as $450 depending on the model and features, according to HVAC installation service MBI HVAC.
Turn water off
When you go on vacation, it’s understandable to want to forget about your house for as long as you’re gone.
But you may want to consider shutting off the water to your house and depressurizing the system if you are leaving for more than a week – otherwise, you might come home to an unpleasant surprise.
“We’re seeing a lot of calls where homeowners leave on vacation, they come back and there’s a small leak that bursts, especially [in] refrigerators,” Dave said.
“What happens is it causes major damage to your flooring your walls [and] you’ve got secondary damage like mold.”
Worst of all, Dave added that insurance companies will likely deny your claims.
“A lot of homeowners are spending thousands of dollars on remediation costs, plus all the reconstruction costs.”
Additionally, Dave recommends programing your water heater to vacation mode when you go away.
Speaking of water heaters, you can also save a ton of money by adding a recirculating pump.
In addition, recirculated pumps will also improve your system by, for example, giving you hot water quicker.
You also might be able to set a timer for the device as well so it automatically turns on and shuts off.
Jim said he has seen often that families will waste their water by waiting a while for it to become hot.
“You can literally save up to $2,400 a year by adding this device with the recirculating pump and a timer,” Jim said.
Recirculating pumps at Home Depot could run from as low as $265 or cost thousands of dollars depending on what you need.
For landscapers, you might want to consider investing in a sub meter if you find yourself using a lot of water.
This includes watering your flowerbeds and grass.
“That’s being drained into your sanitation system,” Dave said.
Buying a sub meter will cost a couple of hundred bucks, according to Dave.
“You’ll be able to track how much water is actually going to your landscaping and how much is actually going down the drain,” Dave said.
But most importantly Dave added it’s “huge savings on your utility bills. Because now you can prove that how much water you’re actually using.”
Light bulbs and air conditioning
Lastly, you’ll want to clean around your light bulb and keep your temperature under control in your home.
“Dirty bulbs emit about 30 to 40% less light,” Jim said.
“So just by cleaning your light bulbs [it] will be a huge benefit and [provide] savings cost as well.”
And of course, many are starting to ramp up the usage of their air condition systems, as the summer approaches.
Jim recommends the average homeowner program their thermostat up to 10 degrees than what it is now.
Also, another thing to be mindful of is making sure your home is well insulated.
“If they don’t have any insulation or adequate insulation in their attic, all of that cooling is escaping through light fixtures up into the attic,” Jim said.
We recently shared five tips on how to improve home insulation from windows to fireplaces that could save you up to $192 per year.
How much could you save in total
By following those tips, Jim said that homeowners could save up to $4,000 annually depending on the state they reside in.
Additionally, Jim recommends taking advantage of other tax reductions.
For example, you could save some money by installing a water sensing device underneath all sinks and appliances including washing machines.
“We’ve had customers that have saved, $200 to $300 a year on their homeowner’s insurance policy just by investing in these types of devices,” Jim said.
An emergency cost to avoid this summer
The cost could be hefty if your air conditioning condensation line isn’t properly cleaned out.
“What happens is they’re using air conditioning, the evaporation, the water gets into this line, it’s blocked [and] clogged because it wasn’t maintained,” Jim said.
“It literally floods the ceiling.”
HVAC company Air Conditioning and Refrigeration recommends cleaning out your condensation line with a quarter of a cup of vinegar.
You’ll want to repeat this process every month.
If it isn’t maintained, the cost for laying out money could be huge for repairing the damage and painting could be huge, according to Jim.
“That one tip right there could save a homeowner 1000s of dollars just by maintaining it,” Jim said.
Lowe’s and Home savings tips
Lowe’s offers benefits such as discounts to those who create a contractor’s account.
According to Jim, you don’t even have to be a contractor to sign up.
“If you’re buying a lot or you’re doing a huge remodel, take advantage of the contractor application and you could save anywhere from five to 10% depending on the product.
Moreover, the twins recently posted a video on three little-known ways you can save money at Lowe’s, which includes secrets about yellow price tags.
Dave and Jim also had some advice for those looking to get more involved in-home improvement.
Of course, what types of projects you can take will depend on your experience including how efficient you are with hand tools.
If you are experienced enough and have the right guidance behind you, Jim said that you could definitely take on the task of installing a water heater, garbage disposal or a faucet.
If not, then you could always look at how-to videos online, or ask an expert for a few bucks.
But Jim has emphasized getting familiar with the “basics,” which includes shutting the water off or a water heater before you take on a plumbing task.
Failing to do that could cause “secondary damage,” which could have been easily avoided.
“Now water is flooding the garage, their hallway or wherever that appliance is,” Jim said.
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