Becoming a new homeowner is an exciting proposition, but it can also be an expensive one. In addition to mortgage payments, you’ll now be responsible for utilities, homeowners’ insurance, property taxes and repairs. Many of these costs are out of your control. However, something can be done to lower your monthly expenditures — limiting your energy consumption. Long term, the costs of living in an energy inefficient home are much higher than those you’d pay for a house in dire need of repairs. Making sure you have an energy-efficient home pays for itself. Below are a few tips to help lower your energy costs.
Install a ceiling fan
Bills are a numbers game. So, think about this: The cost of cooling a home using an air conditioner is about $0.36 per hour while a ceiling fan costs $0.01. A ceiling fan allows you to increase your AC/thermostat’s set-point by up to 4 degrees and still feel as comfortable. Regardless of whether or not a fan meets all your cooling and ventilation needs, they’re still a great investment. Despite their cost-effective nature, it’s still very important to use ceiling fans wisely. If there’s nobody in the room, turn them off!
Replace Your HVAC Air Filters Regularly
Grand Homes encourages a new homeowner to change their homes’ air filters about four times a year. Considering that an air filter costs only $10, that means you’ll spend $40 every year in air-filter replacements. In contrast, that’s not remotely as expensive as operating an HVAC unit with a faulty filter. A dirty or damaged filter blocks free airflow and, thus makes your air conditioning unit use more energy. Homeowners can shave off close 15% off their energy costs by replacing their filters regularly. Since your HVAC unit accounts for about half of your monthly utility bills, this amounts to $7.50 in savings for every $100 spent on electricity.
Reduce your Water Heater’s Temperature
Water-heater manufacturers set the thermostat on heaters to 140 degrees. Not only does that raise your utility costs, but it also presents a safety risk. Your shower water shouldn’t feel like lava. By lowering the thermostat to 120 degrees or less, you can reduce your monthly utility expenditure by 10%. Since water heating accounts for about 25% of total electricity expenses, lowering your water’s temperature cuts down new homeowners’ energy costs significantly.
Swap Incandescent Bulbs with CFL and LED Bulbs
Although incandescent bulbs are considered some of the best in the market, they use more energy than the LED and the CFL bulbs. In fact, today’s LEDs and CFLs require 75%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent lights. They also last much longer, up to 25 times in some cases, than their incandescent counterparts.
Seal Off Air Leaks in Windows, Doors, and Appliances
If your home has leaks around windows, doors or water heaters, you aren’t just losing air – you’re losing money. The US Department of Energy reports that you can reduce your utility costs by 5%-30% by simply sealing off air leaks in your home. On average, American households use about $2,200 on utility bills. That means sealing off leakages could save you up to $660!
One last way to ensure you save on energy costs is to request that your home builders construct your home with energy efficiency in mind. At Grand Homes we builds homes with environmental stewardship as a our number 1 priority. With our tips and the right home, you can make being a new homeowner a lot less expensive. If you’d like to learn more about energy efficient homes, call us today.