Home maintenance tips for new homeowners
When you rented your house, your, own, with luck, took charge of all the maintenance of the building, the work in the garden and any problem in the interior that arose. Now that you are a new owner, this responsibility now falls on you and it is important to know how to keep these costs low as you can.
Now is when we explain some of our tips to save money, because when you are a new owner, approximately every $ 1 you spend on the maintenance of your home could help you avoid $ 100 in repair costs in the future.
Once you have finished reading this publication, you will find that our guide on how to budget for maintenance and home repairs can help you, especially if you plan to make many updates in the future.
Perform a Home Energy Audit
Performing an energy audit in your new home is the first tip on the list.
This initial step will help you discover where you are losing energy, to know what projects you should undertake first. For this you have three options:
- Many utility companies offer this as a free service, so the first option is to start calling your local company.
- If the above option is not available through your local utility, you can use the Residential Energy Services Network to find (and pay for) a certified auditor to evaluate your home.
- As a last solution, you can conduct a home energy audit yourself, using the energy audit guide of the home of the Department of Energy of the United States.
The main advantage of conducting an audit in your new home is that it can save you 5 to 30% in annual energy costs.
Control Your Heating and Cooling
This may come as a surprise to you, but the biggest cost of home ownership (other than the mortgage) is heating and cooling. Since approximately 50% of the energy use in the home is the result of maintaining a comfortable temperature inside.
One of the tips for maintenance that we offer and that is simpler, is that you can reduce your monthly payment for public services by installing a programmable thermostat.
With it, you will get precise control over temperature settings and you can set a schedule for the cold or heat you want the house to have throughout the day.
By scheduling your heating and cooling system to disconnect automatically when you are not at home or at night, you will significantly reduce your energy costs.
Another cheap option to cool your home is to install ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans move the air in your home, as well as how cheap they are, since the average cost is $ 73.58 per year to operate, which is approximately $ 6 per month. But if you buy a super efficient model reduces that bill to $ 18.92 per year, even while running throughout the day.
A fact about the fans that you might not have known, namely, the fan blades turn counterclockwise and thus push the air down into the room to cool it down. In winter you can reverse the direction of the blades to push the air towards the ceiling and help the room stay warmer.
Clean Your Air Conditioners
It is important to perform a routine cleaning of your air conditioner, especially during the months of high use. Performing this routine can save you 50% of the cost.
If you really want to save money and your home does not have one, consider investing in a window air conditioner. Choosing this appliance will save you up to 80% of your monthly electricity bill, and often do the job of cooling your home.
Maintaining a window AC unit is simple too. Just follow these steps:
- Remove the front cover and clean it with soap and water.
- Remove the air filter and wash it (or replace it if necessary).
- Clean the exposed coils.
- Straighten the bent fins.
- Use the waste of time.
- Take a look at your doors and windows, and check the metal or rubber strips that seal the gaps. These are known as weather coats and serve to seal air leaks, so it is important to check that they have not worn out over time.
Inspecting and adding weatherstripping is often only talked about when preparing your home for winter weather, but it is also important to keep the air cool during the hottest months.
Caulk Around Doors and Windows
The interior frames of doors and windows are not the only place where air can enter and exit.
The exterior frames of these locations can also develop cracks through which energy can be lost. To avoid this we recommend that you use latex or silicone putty to seal the cracks between the doors and windows and its frame inside and outside the house.
This easy home maintenance project can save you between 10 to 20% in energy expenses.
Better Insulate Your Windows
If your home still has single pane windows, you will know that they are less energy efficient than double or triple pane windows, so we advise you to change them for more efficient ones.
Although there is also a cheaper option, which works quite well, which is to use a window insulation kit, which consists of applying a thin layer of film on the windows that acts as an additional panel to prevent air from escaping.
We know that the most expensive option is to update all the windows of a single panel in your home, but if you can afford this option, you can save up to $ 465 per year in energy costs.
Keep Closets Doors Closed
When you are heating or cooling your house, the square meters are a great enemy. The more air that is required for a large room, the more air will be needed to heat the room. This leads to higher energy bills.
An easy way to save on heating and cooling costs is to heat those rooms in your home that you are going to use and close the doors to maintain the temperature.
Add Insulation to Your Hot Water Heater and Pipes
Have you ever touched a hot water heater while it is working? It gets extremely hot on the surface and loses a lot of heat, in order to maintain that heat we advise isolating it.
It's as simple as going to the local hardware store to buy the pre-cut jacket that fits the tank. Just put it and that's all there is to it.
Hot water pipes are another area where energy can escape. They make foam insulation for these things too, if your house does not have this insulation in the pipes, you can look for all the sections of pipe that are exposed and be sure to wrap them. Doing this will reduce the heat loss and can raise the water temperature between 2 ° F and 4 ° F.
Clean and Flush Out Your Hot Water Heater
Public water has sediment and if it accumulates too much, it can cause your water heater to break down or be replaced. If it breaks, it could cost between $ 1,000 and $ 12,000 a new one.
That's why we recommend that you clean it with some continuity to avoid unnecessary expense.
Drain the water from your water heater, remove any sediment and refill it.
It is advisable to lower the temperature of the thermos to 120 degrees, which can save you from 3% to 5% on your energy bill.
Clean Your Refrigerator Coils
Most owners have no idea that they have to clean the refrigerator coils in their refrigerator, which are the ones that keep it cool.
If they are dirty the generator works much more, but if you avoid it by keeping them clean, you can reduce about 70% of all refrigerator repair costs.
Fortunately, this is one of the easiest home maintenance chores you can perform and it’s recommended to do every 6 months.
Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean
Your dryer is one of the largest drains of energy you have in your home. If you do not keep the dryer's ventilation, clean, it may take longer to dry clothes.
Clogged dry ventilation can increase energy costs up to $ 140 per year. It is important to clean the ventilation often to avoid any kind of obstruction.
Another tip is that you can move your dryer in a hot part of your home, which means you will not have to work so hard every time you dry your clothes.
Shorten Your Dryer Vent Hose
A maintenance suggestion, which can help your clothes dry 20% faster, is to shorten the dryer's vent hose, as it helps your dryer run more efficiently.
To do this, start by disconnecting the hose and vacuuming it to remove debris. Then, pull the dryer a few feet from the wall and trim the hose, always making sure you can reach the vent. Push the dry back against the wall and go.
In addition, this can also help reduce the risk of fires and subsequent problems.
We hope that our tips will help you keep your home in perfect condition and also save money per year.