Friday, 24 November 2017

4 Easy Money-Saving Tips for Homeowners

Written by Posted On Friday, 08 September 2017 18:31

Moving into a new home is both exciting and exhausting. You've signed a mile-high stack of documents, making a major financial commitment extending many years into the future. Unpack and relax as you look proudly around. You deserve it.

 

However, the unexpected always happens, whether the home is brand new or has sheltered many families. The good news is there are easy ways to save money that will really add up over time.

 

Make a Plan and Stick To It

 

Just after moving in is a great time to make a list of ways to save money in your new home. Even homeowners who've lived in their home for years should be able to find new ways to cut costs. The sooner these tips can be implemented, the sooner you'll reap the benefits. Prioritize and schedule the changes you plan to make on your calendar so they don't become "maybe someday" items. You'll be glad you did.

 

1. Attic and Pipe Insulation Puts Dollars in Your Pocket

 

People living in the snow belt may be more insulation-conscious than those in the south, but an adequately insulated attic is important wherever you live. Air conditioning bills in the deep south can be as high as heating bills up north. Check your attic.

 

There should be a minimum of 6" of insulation everywhere in the south. More insulation is needed in cold regions. Check this guide from the Department of Energy that details how much insulation is needed in various parts of the U.S. Don't let the sun or the cold add needless dollars to your heating or cooling bill.

 

Insulating exposed hot water pipes doesn't cost a lot or take too much time. Pipe insulation, especially of pipes in cold basements or garages, can make as much as a four-degree difference in the hot water coming from your faucet. The insulation keeps the water warmer as it travels from the hot water heater.

 

Check this tutorial for tips on pipe insulation. It's very important to insulate the first 3 ft. of pipe coming from the heater and to use good quality insulation products.

 

2. Insulate Your Water Heater and Lower the Temperature

 

The optimum temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees. Water hotter than this can scald a person, especially a child or senior. It's also a waste of money to keep water at an excessively high temperature.

 

You can further reduce water-heating costs by using a water heater insulation blanket or jacket. These insulating blankets don't cost very much and will definitely pay for themselves in the long run. Be careful to follow instructions and don't cover the thermostat, burner compartment, top or bottom of the water heater. Note: If you have a tankless or on-demand water heater, there's no need to cover it with a water heater blanket.

 

3. Use a Smart Power Strip with Electronics

 

Electronics burn a lot of energy while in standby mode. If you have several devices connected to the TV, such as a DVD player or game console, save money by using a smart power strip and letting the TV control the on-off status of all devices.

 

4. Insure Your Home Systems and Appliances

 

When the air conditioner or furnace suddenly quits or an appliance needs repair, a complete home warranty will pay for itself. This one-year service agreement will be appreciated when you're looking at a big repair bill. Just as you need homeowner's insurance on the building, you need to ensure the major home system components and expensive appliances from wear and tear.

 

Finally, put together a home maintenance checklist, including items such as changing furnace and a/c filters. Include tasks you plan to do monthly, quarterly or yearly and review the list regularly. Taking care of small problems as they arise can save you thousands of dollars.

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Sofia Belnap

Sophia is passionate about writing in the real estate and home improvement spaces. When Sophia is not writing she loves reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

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