The great thing about owning your own home is that you know exactly what your monthly mortgage payment will be each month, which makes it easy to budget. However, many of the other costs of home ownership are often not quite so easy to predict. Some things or events can sabotage a monthly budget. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to trim your spending and lower you home living costs.
No matter the age of your home, there are often some energy-efficient upgrades you can make to help conserve energy and save money. Even the smallest project can add up to big savings over time.
A few tips that should help are listed below.
- Upgrade appliances: If you buy an older home, there’s a good chance the appliances are a bit outdated and may not be the most energy-efficient. You could begin upgrading appliances one by one to start conserving energy use. You may even be able to sell your older ones and use that money toward your new appliances.
- Add a programmable thermostat: This is an easy and relatively low-cost project that you can do on your own. Being able to better control your heating and cooling can help you save a big chunk of change over time.
- Install new light bulbs: Chances are, you may have some old incandescent bulbs hiding in your home’s light fixtures. As light bulbs continue to become more energy-efficient, it’s worth it to invest in some new bulbs that can help you save energy and money. Start with the bulbs you use most often for the biggest impact on your savings.
- Lower hot water heater thermostat: Many water heaters are set at 140 degrees by the manufacturer; however, most homeowners find that a thermostat set to 120 degrees is sufficient. Not only can lowering the temperature save money, it can also prevent you and your family from being burned by too-hot water.
- Sealing windows and doors: A lot of energy is wasted due to gaps around windows and doors in your home. Whether it’s hot or cold air slipping in between the cracks, it can have a negative impact on your energy bill. Pick up weatherproofing sealer at your local hardware store to help keep the outdoor air from seeping in.
- There are some larger efficiency projects, such as replacing an outdated heating or cooling system, installing double-pane windows or adding new insulation. These cost more up front but could provide big savings or time.
Information provided by Kim Niccum, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group