Buying your first home isn’t simply a big moment, it’s also the start of a new financial reality. Where renting required a steady amount of money every month, owning your new home comes with quite a few new costs and expenditures. If you’ve just bought your first home, or are looking for ways to pinch pennies, here are some things you can do to save money as a home owner.
1. Automate Your Thermostat
Setting your home thermostat to be warm when you’re home and awake and cooler when you’re away or asleep is one of the easiest ways to save money on your monthly bills. Even just a few hours per day can end up saving you a surprising amount of money. The easiest way to set up an energy-conscious thermostat is to get an automated and programmable thermostat. Another option is to get in the habit of changing the temperature before you leave for work and before you go to bed.
2. Use Fans and Curtains
Fans and curtains can help keep your home cool in the summertime, when air conditioning costs can really end up costing you. Keeping the curtains drawn in the heat of the day will stop the sun from heating up through the glass, while a cost-effective fan can help keep the air moving. Working together, you can keep your home cool with simple, almost free techniques.
3. Use the Power of the Sun
When it comes to laundry in the summer, there is really no reason to tumble dry all your clothes every time. You can instead use the power of the sun to dry your clothes. If you live in a house with a backyard, set up a clothing line. If you’re in a condo, place a drying rack near a window. Doing so can save you up to $250 per year.
4. Get the Right Lights
Remember when you were a child and adults would get mad when lights were left on? This was because incandescent bulbs are expensive to run, especially compared to energy-efficient LED bulbs. If you just bought a new home, spend the money to replace all the incandescent bulbs with LED. The savings, and the softer light, make this investment worth a one-time splurge. After that, they’ll need to be replaced only every few years, if not decades.
5. Make Sure the Insulation is Working
Gaps under doors, spaces in window fittings, even that weird hole in the attic. All of these spaces mean cold air, or hot air in the summer, are being trapped in your home and costing you money. In the winter, it’s the extra money on your heating bill. In the summer, it’s the air conditioning. Be sure to seal up your home, no matter the time of year, and you could be saving 2% of your total heating and cooling costs, maybe even more. Most of the time, the problems are easily solved: using some caulking, getting a rubber piece on the bottom of the door, or stuffing some insulation where it’s needed. The savings, though, will be noticeable.