Congratulations on homeownership! This is likely the most expensive purchase in your lifetime, and future expenses can quickly add up. Luckily, there are ways to save money in your new endeavor. Check out the following tips to put a little more cash back in your bank account.
A home security system provides safety, as well as savings on your homeowners’ insurance bill. Some insurance companies offer a 20% discount or more for a home security system. The amount of the discount may depend on the complexity of the system and whether it alerts directly to police and fire, or locally. You can also find inexpensive home security system options at most home improvement centers. Regardless, in addition to safety, you can enjoy a lower homeowners’ insurance payment.
Replacing caulk around windows and installing weather strips around doors is a low-cost, low-effort way to keep air from escaping outside to provide a comfortable indoor temperature. Your attic should also have at least six inches of insulation everywhere. Adding insulation will not only provide energy savings, but you may be eligible for tax incentives.
Your water heater stores a large amount of water and heats it for on-demand use, consuming a significant amount of energy. Often, the water heater is set at 140 degrees or warmer; however, most people don’t use water warmer than 120 degrees. Decreasing the temperature saves energy, but doesn’t compromise on hot water. Additionally, if you have small children, lowering the water temperature can prevent accidental scalding.
A programmable thermostat may set you back $100, or your utility company may offer discounts. Automatically adjusting the temperature a few degrees while sleeping and at work can add up in significant savings. You can also adjust the temperature more dramatically when away on vacation, but program it to return to a comfortable setting before your return.
Ceiling fans provide steady air circulation and allows the thermostat setting to remain a degree or two warmer or cooler, depending on the season. Use the reversal switch on the fan to blow air down in the summer and up in the winter. When adjusting ceiling fans, take the time to check out basement dampers as well. Many homes built within the last 20 years have adjustable dampers on the basement air ducts to push cool air upstairs in summer months and warm air to lower levels during the winter months.
Use LED Lighting
LED light bulbs are more expensive, but the return on investment is well worth it. Some utility companies also offer free or discounted LED lights. The lifetime of an LED light can be 20 years compared to just a few months for incandescent lights, meaning fewer light bulbs to purchase and replace. It also takes less electricity to fuel LED lights, resulting in a decreased energy bill.
While home ownership can seem overwhelming and costly, there are ways to keep costs down and find savings with little effort or additional expense. Remember to look for offers through your utility company and tax incentives when making energy improvements.
About the Author:
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. For other options on inexpensive home security systems check out ADT here.