10 Easy Tasks That Will Help You Save Cash Over the Long Term
Did you just move into a new home? While you’ll definitely have a ton of things to do around the house post move-in, there are some simple tasks you can do that will help reduce energy and maintenance costs and send you well on your way to saving some coin over the long term. See more of our Home Buyers Tips here.
It is recommended that you do these tasks as soon as possible as you will save more, and, they will be much easier to perform before you lose all that new home hype nearly all buyers have after move-in. Without further ado, here they are:
#1 – Adjust the hot water tank temperature down to about 55 degrees Celsius
Most people don’t have the need for water hotter than 55 degrees Celsius. Water at temperatures any higher than this can actually end up burning you or your children anyways and it takes an incredible amount of energy to keep it above this range.
Think about it; you’ll save money and make your home safer at the same time.
#2 – Buy a water heater blanket for the hot water tank
Most brand new water heaters are well-insulated, although some are definitely better than others. It doesn’t cost much to buy a water blanket for the hot water tank; it will improve its efficiency enough for long-term savings by reducing the amount of heat it loses to the environment (no real system is perfect).
Make sure you avoid covering the top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment and follow the instructions very carefully.
#3 – Wrap exposed water lines with insulation
Just like your hot water tank, water pipes also lose heat to the environment. Wrapping them with a good quality insulation is easy to do and will save you some cash over the long haul.
This works especially well in cold basements and garages where insulating pipes can affect the temperature of circulating water through your home by a degree or two.
#4 – Change the air filter (and buy more)
Check your AC unit and / or furnace air filter right away once you move-in as it could be clogged up from dust and other airborne grains resulting from construction.
You’ll want to pick up maybe two or three air filters at once from your local home department store and change them every three or four months – maybe more often during spring and summer as dust tends to accumulate rapidly during warmer seasons.
A clogged filter not only impedes air quality, but also negatively affects the flow of air through your home meaning that your air handling system has to use more energy to do its job – while pumping out lower quality of air. No one wants that! Air filters are a part of our list of Standard Home Maintenance Tasks.
#5 – Consider installing ceiling fans
Ceiling fans are an inexpensive and efficient way to keep air circulating through your home. Because of the movement of air that they cause, you can get away with keeping the thermostat a degree or two lower in the winter and a degree or two higher during the summer.
Remember that fans should be blowing air downwards during the summer and upwards in the winter. Simply find the reversal switch on the fan at the beginning of each season for best results.
#6 – Buy a clothes rack for the laundry room
Hang drying your clothes is one way to guarantee that they stay in tip-top shape for a very long time. It is also a great money-saving method that will cut off a few bucks from your energy bill every year which does add up over the long run.
You can also consider making room in your closet to hang clothes.
#7 – Buy CFL or LED lightbulbs (if you don’t have already)
Considering that these types of lightbulbs have more longevity than your typical ones and are most cost efficient, there is no reason not to buy and use them in your new home.
Most new properties come with full LED lights already, but it never hurts to have more waiting for when they do eventually die out.
#8 – Plant shading trees close to your house
Planting deciduous trees on the western and eastern sides of your home can help reduce heating and cooling costs year round.
During the fall and winter, deciduous trees lose all there leaves allowing more sunlight to hit the side of the home. On the flip side, during spring and summer when the leaves bloom they act as a shield to sunlight and keep the home cooler. Planting coniferous trees on the north or south side of your home can also shield it from those cold prairie winds during winter time.
Also, let’s not forget that mature trees are a lovely addition to properties and have the potential to add substantially to your homes resale value. Planting them as soon as you move in means they will mature and begin serving their intended purpose before you know it.
#9 – Double-check attic insulation… and add more if needed
Chances are that your new home may have an unfinished attic. Grab a ladder and take a gander inside with a flashlight while checking to see if there is insulation between beams, on the ground and that it is at least a foot thick everywhere you look.
If you are unsure as to what kind of insulation to buy, try the local home department store – those guys are experts – or check your basement storage to see if there is some left over from construction.
#10 – Window films
If you’re really adamant about saving some cash, you can always invest in special window films to help prevent heat loss during the winter and heat absorption during the summer.
Also see our list of Initial Home Maintenance Tasks today.
Start Saving Now!
Collectively between all of these methods, you could be saving anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand bucks depending on your home and measures taken.
Either way, I would say that the initial financial investment is definitely worth it – don’t you? Also check out:
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