Tips on Lowering Utility Costs for the New Homeowner

Monday, November 19, 2018

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Buying a house is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Owning a home is different from renting in that all of a sudden, everything is your responsibility, including the indoor and outdoor maintenance and monthly bills like utilities and insurance. The thought of all that financial responsibility can be overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be. Here are a few tips on how to lower your utility costs and keep more money in your budget for other priorities.

Take Care of Your Heating and Cooling Unit

Image via Flickr by dno1967b

Easily the biggest appliance in your new home is its heating and cooling unit. Known as your "HVAC," this unit keeps your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One of the quickest ways to rack up unnecessary utility costs is by having an underperforming HVAC unit. 

HVAC units can run inefficiently for a variety of reasons, including clogged filters, dusty or leaking ducts, and worn out motors. Taking regular care of your HVAC unit costs a bit of money up front, but can save you from major repairs down the road. It will also keep your unit running efficiently, which means less money owed to your utility companies every month. Find a trusted professional HVAC technician, and schedule a yearly tune-up of your entire HVAC system.

Do a Home Energy Audit
Home energy audits are the best way to get a comprehensive picture of how much energy your home uses and how much it wastes. Home energy audits take an in-depth look at your energy use and bring in data points such as past fuel bills, exterior inspections, interior inspections, appliance tests, and blower tests to look for gaps and leaks in your home.

At the end of an energy audit, you will be presented with a list of ways to increase your energy efficiency. These efficiencies can often save you between 5 and 30 percent on your utility bills each month.

Small Changes Add Up
When it comes to making your new home more energy efficient, small changes really do add up. If you have a hot water heater with a tank, cover the tank with a blanket to insulate against heat loss. Walk through all your rooms to look for drafty areas near exterior windows and doors, then use rolled foam insulation to seal up those gaps. Install ceiling fans in rooms with high ceilings, and set the motors counterclockwise in the summer (to pull warm air to the ceiling) and counterclockwise in the winter (to push warm air to the floor). 

Other tasks include closing heat registers in rooms that are infrequently used and installing a programmable thermostat to keep the house cool when you're away and warm when you're home. There is truly no limit to the small improvements you can make in a home to help increase energy efficiency.

Your first house is a cause for celebration — don't let high utility bills get you down. With these tips, you can increase energy efficiency and decrease the cost of maintaining your new home.

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1 comment:

  1. We need to replace are A/c and heat with in the next year.


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