Congratulations on purchasing a home and no longer having to pay rent! Now the fun begins, though it won’t always be inexpensive. Regardless of the cost, here are some items to handle right off the bat to prevent problems down the road.
Did your home inspector go into the attic? How is the insulation up there? Is it damaged or insufficient to meet your needs? If so, the Department of Energy has a wonderful guide on attic insulation. After you’ve checked out the guide, contact your accountant since occasionally there are government incentives to reinsulate your attic. While we’re hunting for federal and local grants, why not take a look at reducing your energy bills with solar panels. A panel can easily be installed on the roof of your home or in the backyard and many times the full cost of the installation can be subsidized.
Next, take a quick look at the temperature gauge on your hot water tank. Most people do not want the water to be hotter than 120 degrees. Many times water hotter than that can be scalding.
After that, take a look at your thermostat. Is it programmable? There are so many programmable thermostats on the market today and at a much lower cost than you would think! I picked one up myself not too long ago for only $40, which has worked great and can be programmed right from my phone. Utility companies will from time to time give away these thermostats to consumers as rebates on their monthly bills.
While on the topic of energy savings, run your hand around the edges of your windows. Air leaks can increase your utility bills by as much as 40 percent each year. Caulk the areas where you feel the air leaks so the gaps are sealed off. One of the biggest air leaks comes from the holes that cable companies drill to bring in their wires. I say cut the cables forever!! Many companies are wireless now or can be streamed. There is no need for all of those ugly wires to be running on the outside and inside of your home. That definitely will make a big difference in curb appeal!
It will take you years to learn all the issues large and small that can be tweaked to your benefit. In the end, it’s one of the things that makes a house a home.
Happy home ownership!!