Whether you are a new homeowner or you’ve lived in your house for 20 years, I bet there are a few things you haven’t done that you need to do to save money. You already know how to do the basics, such as keeping the thermostat up during the day when you’re not home and opening the windows when you’re experiencing beautiful days. Please, you’re a smart woman (or man, we don’t discriminate). You know what to do to save money at home. You know now to do small loads of laundry when you could do bigger ones. You know to hang dry your sheets and other things that might need some fresh air and that might save you some electricity.
You know that you need to check the insulation and to see if there is a need for any caulk along the doors and windows. You know these things, and we know that you can do them without any issue. Of course, we also know that you don’t know everything – because no one does. That means you might be wasting good money every single year; and we don’t want that. Homeowners, take note; there are a few things you can do right this very second that are going to save you big bucks this year. Get out a pen and paper – or just hit print.
Change your air filters
You probably already know that you need to do this pretty regularly, but we bet you never do it when you need to. I mean, I don’t even do it when I need to. My husband and I usually remember at some point months after we should have changed our air filter that we haven’t changed it. It’s not good, but we do eventually get around to it. You need to do this because it really does make a huge difference in the way your air performs. You’re wasting a lot of money running it every month when the filter is outdated and old.
Use a water heater blanket
Um, did you even know this existed? I didn’t; though I think I vaguely remember seeing one in a movie or something and just assumed it was a northern thing (that’s my go-to thought for all things I don’t understand, being that I’m a Floridian). This is not just a regular blanket, so let’s not make that mistaken assumption. This is a blanket that is actually well insulated and very beneficial to the water heater. It allows you to keep your water hot without keeping the temperature as hot as it needs to be. It saves money; though it doesn’t save a lot at one time, you will notice the savings over time.
Change the water heater temperature
I like a hot shower. No, I love a hot shower. I like the water turned all the way up as hot as it goes, and I like it no matter what time of year it is. I don’t like cold showers; it’s not for me. I don’t even care for lukewarm showers. I like it hot and humid and all clean feeling.
Sadly, though, most people don’t feel the same way and they don’t use water that’s over 120 degrees. That means you should turn your water heater temp down. It saves a lot of money over time, and it’s better for you and your family (and their skin).
Change the light bulbs
When we bought this house, we had regular light bulbs in every room. Let me tell you this; we have a lot of light fixtures! Off the top of my head, I think we might have anywhere from 75-100 bulbs in our house at any time (we have So. Many. Light. Fixtures.) The lights were blowing like crazy. We replaced one, then four, then 10, then more. Then they were all replaced and within a few months they all needed it again. By the third or fourth time we replaced all those bulbs in what felt like about a month’s time, we decided to go LED. They last a lot longer; and we were tired of changing light bulbs. They were more expensive, but we’ve probably actually saved a ton of money on them at this point not having to replace them every five minutes. They use a lot less energy, so they’re huge savings over time. The best part is that ‘over time’ isn’t even that much time in this case.
Plant some trees
All right, this will only help if you plant some super big trees right this second. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait a few years. Shade trees help to keep your house cooler longer as the sun cannot get directly into the windows and heat everything up. Your air will run less, your house will feel better and you will see serious savings. I know this works for a fact. Our house has so many trees around it that even though both floors and all four sides are pretty much all glass and glass doors and we live in Florida, our house stays very cool.
Take, for example, earlier this month when we took a direct hit from Hurricane Hermine. We live 7 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and we had a direct hit. We keep our air at 74 overnight. We lost power around 2 am that Friday morning and it did not come back on until Friday afternoon. It was 97 degrees and humid as can be that day thanks to the rain. The sun was shining as the storm moved out early in the morning, and our house never once rose above 76 degrees thanks to all the trees. It was great; other people were dying of heat, and we were pretty comfortable.
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