When you’ve just purchased a new home, there’s a ton on your mind. There’s moving, decorating, getting to know your new neighborhood, and more. It is an exciting, if a little overwhelming time. In the rush to get settled, though, there are some important money-saving areas that tend to get overlooked. Here are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list; they don’t take long, and can save you a ton of money in the long run:
Check on your water heater
Set your water heater for 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for bathing, washing dishes, and any other household use of hot water, so heating water above 120 degrees is a waste of energy and money. And if your water heater is an older model, it’s worthwhile to invest in a water heater blanket to keep it insulated.
Replace air filters
Sellers often put in a lot of cosmetic work to get the home move-in ready, but they often skip or forget about air filters in the HVAC system. Filters can be found at your local hardware store (just make sure to get the right size) and are easy to replace. Doing so will improve air flow and quality, and save on energy costs. Air filters need to be changed periodically (depending on the type of filter and frequency of use, anywhere from every 1-6 months), and this will get you in the habit right away.
Get a smart thermostat
Seriously, a smart thermostat, is an incredible investment in your home. I know I’ve mentioned them before because I can’t get over how cool they are! The thermostats themselves are a little expensive, but you’ll make that money back in energy savings. Plus, in Portland, as well as many other cities, you can send in a mail-in rebate to your power company for switching over. It’s programmable so that your AC and furnace run at lower levels when you’re not home, so you’re not wasting money to cool or heat an empty house.
Set up a space to air-dry clothes
Whether it’s a rack in your laundry room or a clothesline in the back yard, air-drying clothes is a big money saver over even the most energy-efficient dryers. Even just getting a clothes drying rack to set up in one room when you need it is helpful. Air-drying your garments will also help them last much longer. If you’re lucky enough to have space in your yard for a clothesline, nothing beats the fresh scent of clothes dried by Mother Nature!
Check for leaks and running toilets
A leaky faucet or a constantly-running toilet will use up water unnecessarily, and that’ll show up on your utility bill. And in the worst case, they’ll cause expensive water damage and mold. Leaky faucets are usually an easy, inexpensive fix that you can do yourself. A lot of times, it’s as simple as replacing a cartridge. Of course, if you’re unsure of your plumbing skills, it’s always best to call a professional.
Do you have any go-to money savers that you implement in your home? Tell us about them in the comments?