Being a homeowner offers you plenty of freedoms you cannot get when renting; however, homeownership is also accompanied by additional expenses. Fortunately, there are ways you can mitigate those expenses as you grow accustomed to your new home. Here are a few tips that will help you save money down the road.
1. Beef-Up Your Home’s Insulation
One of the best ways to reduce excessive energy costs and unnecessary wear-and-tear around the home is to keep everything properly insulated. While wall insulation is tricky to modify, your attic is likely easily accessible and is a common source for energy loss during seasonal temperature changes. Also, check for any exposed hot water pipes that are not properly insulated, as that loss of energy not only puts additional strain on your water heater but can also add additional unwanted heat throughout your home during the summer.
2. Update for Electricity Efficiency
Inefficient electrical appliances should be replaced with newer, energy-efficient models. This applies to everything from your counter-top toaster to your outside HVAC condenser or compressor unit. You may also try unconventional methods of electricity moderation and control, like installing solar panels for an off-the-grid supplemental source of power to mitigate your monthly costs to the power companies.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
When you are upgrading your HVAC system, an easy fix to reduce energy costs while keeping your home cool is to install a modern programmable thermostat. The newer digital thermostats far more efficiently monitor interior temperatures than older models and offer a range of pre-programmed temperature settings based on time of day and seasonal changes. The additional control will keep you feeling comfortable while preventing your HVAC from running when it does not need to.
4. Change Air Condition Filters Regularly
In line with saving money on your HVAC system, there are other simple ways to improve the efficiency of your system rather than replacing major components. While you should consider saving up to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model, in the meantime, you should make sure to replace your filters regularly to ensure unimpeded airflow circulates through the system. This prevents your system from overheating and maintains steady output, reducing the risk of additional repair costs and potentially wild temperature fluctuations.
5. Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Aside from your home’s electricity consumption, cutting back on water usage is another great way to cut costs. An easy way to reduce the amount of water your home uses is to install low-flow fixtures on all of your faucets. You could also upgrade to more water-efficient toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers to prevent excess water waste and save you a nice chunk of change each month that will quickly offset the upgrade costs.
6. Upgrade to Energy Efficient Doors and Windows
An overlooked source of heat loss and unwanted energy transfer is your home’s doors and windows. Cheaper aluminum alloy construction and single-pain windows lead to a variety of problems from condensation to wild temperature fluctuations, while older doors and windows that do not seat properly leave gaps for additional airflow as well as the intrusion from bugs and rainwater. Newer energy-efficient doors and windows drastically reduce your home’s energy loss to keep your rooms more comfortable and secure against the elements.
7. Install a Kitchen Garbage Disposal
Your home’s wastewater lines can become clogged over time, largely due to solid waste coming from your kitchen sink. That leads to repair costs and additional complications as clogs become more serious. One way to reduce the likelihood of solids clogging your grey-water lines is to install a garbage disposal that allows you to grind down any solids in your kitchen wastewater into a more manageable form. While a garbage disposal is not a foolproof solution, it will reduce solid waste and is a relatively cheap modification that you can probably install on your own.
8. Re-Seal Exterior All Wood
From wooden siding to wood decks, any exposed wood around your home needs to be periodically re-sealed to preserve its integrity and increase its overall lifespan. While anything exposed to the elements will wear down over time, by taking the time to regularly stain and seal your siding or deck planks every couple of years, you can extend the wood’s service life and mitigate the costs of an eventual replacement. Waterproof stain and deck sealant is a relatively cheap investment compared to the costs of materials and labor to replace a deck or put new siding on your entire home.
There are plenty of ways to save money around the home. The best thing you can do as a new homeowner is to sit down and write out a complete monthly expense budget to plan ahead for your costs, then revisit that budget after your first couple months of expenses to see what areas are costing more than you originally anticipated. With a little ingenuity and thinking outside the box, there is always a way to efficiently and effectively cut costs and enjoy the freedoms of homeownership.