Congratulations on becoming a new homeowner! This is a very exciting time. You have a lot of things to do to get settled in and make your new house your new home. Now is the perfect time to identify the best ways to save money in your new home.
· Water Heater: Check the temperature on your hot water heater. The ideal temperature is 120-degrees Fahrenheit. Water any hotter than this can scald you, and the amount of energy used to keep your water above this temperature isn’t used efficiently. The other way to help save money with your hot water heater is to purchase a blanket for your hot water heater. I know, you are probably thinking, what? Older water heaters aren’t typically insulated and while most modern ones are, some are insulated better than others. This small investment will save you money over time by keeping the heat in the water instead of dispersing into your utility closet. Please check your manufacturer’s warranty for any information prior to applying a blanket to help ensure you do not void your warranty.
· Ceiling Fans: If you don’t have one in each room, install one. Alright, so not every room, but every room that makes sense. Bedrooms, dining room, living room, family room, den, office, are you seeing the picture we are painting here? Ceiling fans are a low-energy way to keep air moving in your house. This will give you some leeway when it comes to temperature settings in your home. When used properly, by changing the reversal switch between seasons, you can keep your thermostat a degree or two higher in the summer and a degree or two lower in the winter. In the summer, ensure that your fan switch is set to blow air down, and in the winter, it is set to pull air up. This can be a big cost savings with your energy bill.
· Thermostat: If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to install one. If you do have one, learn to use it efficiently. This is another big potential cost savings on your energy bill. If your routine is regular and you work out of the house during the day, program the temperature down a few degrees at night and while you are away at work. Then set it to come back up a little before you wake up and shortly before you get home from work. You won’t notice the difference, other than in the savings on your bill.
· Air Filters: This is one you need to get into the habit of doing every month. Changing the air filter on your air handling unit for your furnace/ac unit will help keep it running efficiently. When your air filter gets clogged, it causes your unit to slow down and possibly break down. It also causes it to work harder to get the air to flow through, thus using more energy and increasing your energy bill.
While these are just a few things, these are big potential money savers over the course of time. Owning a home is a big responsibility and expenses that you didn’t plan for may pop up at any time. If there is a way to put some extra money into your contingency savings account by saving a few pennies or dollars every month just by adjusting a few things in your house, take advantage wherever you can. For more helpful tips, don’t forget to ask your trusted real estate agent. We are on your side and want to make your experience as a new homeowner a pleasurable one.