Homeowner Tips to Reduce Long Term Energy and Maintenance Costs

Homeowners can cut Energy & Maintenace Costs

Homeowners can cut Energy & Maintenace CostsThings you can do to help save money.

As you move into your new home, reduce your long term energy and maintenance costs.

Congratulations!  You’ve just purchased a new home and are starting to settle in.  Get off to a great start in saving money sooner rather than later by following these tips.1. Check the insulation in your attic – and install more if needed.  When you check your attic look and see if there’s inadequate insulation, or the insulation you have appears damaged – install new insulation. This can help home
owners save 20-30% annually on their electric bill and also keep the home an average of 8 degrees or more cooler too!

2. Think about installing a solar fan on your roof .  Solar fans are designed to reduce heat build-up in your attic – 43% of air conditioning design load is based on high attic temperatures! Lowering attic temperature also lowers air
conditioning use.  And let’s face it, even if you don’t intend to use air conditioners, having a cooler home in Hawaii is great!

3. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius). This is the optimum temperature for your hot water heater. Most people don’t use water that’s hotter than that, and so the
energy used to keep your water that hot isn’t cost effective. Lower the temperature will save a bit more on your energy bill.

4. While you’re at it, place a water heater blanket over your hot water heater too. While most modern hot water heaters are well-insulated, some are insulated better than others and many older heaters aren’t insulated well at all.
A small investment in a blanket for your water heater will gradually save you money on your heating bill over time by keeping the heat in the water instead of letting it dissipate outside of the water heater.

5. If your new home dosen’t already have a solar hot water heater installed, or if there is a system installed that is in poor shape, consider installing a new solar water heater.  When you don’t have air conditioning or a swimming
pool your home’s largest energy consumer is the electric water heater. If your home has four or more people, installing a solar water heater can save you about 35% on your utility bill, and since there are still substancial
State and Federal tax credits available when purchasing a system, now is a great time to do so.

Save money by lowering energy costs6. Install ceiling fans in most of your rooms. Ceiling fans are a low-energy way to keep air moving in your home, saving you a good deal of money by letting you keep your thermostat a degree or two higher.

7. Wrap any exposed water pipes with insulation. Exposed hot water pipes lose heat as they move water from your heater to your faucet. Insulating them gives a two to four degree difference in the temperature of the water and also allows hot water to reach your faucet faster. Check the pipes into and out of your hot water heater first, as the first three feet out of the heater (and the last few feet of inlet water) are key. Use good quality pipe insulation for the job.

8. Install a programmable thermostat – and learn how to use it. A programmable thermostat allows you to schedule automatic increases and decreases in your home’s temperature. This lets your house naturally warm while you’re at work or asleep, saving quite a bit of energy use (and thus money), and then when it comes time for you to actively use the house, the thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature of your home to your liking.  Ask us at Aloha Alarm how you can use a security alarm system do this for you!

9. Install a clothes rack in your laundry room (or even better use an outdoor clothesline). A clothes dryer can cost you a lot of money over time by increasing your energy costs, but it’s convenient for many people. Battle that
convenience (and save money) by hanging a clothes rack from the wall in the laundry room and use it for some items. If you can hang up 20% of the clothes in a load on this rack, you can save money by running the dryer 20% less
than you normally would have. If you can, install a clothes line outside where the wind can dry your clothes for you and hang most of your clothes outside.

10. Check all toilets and under-sink plumbing for leaks or constant running – and check your faucets, too. Take a look at the plumbing in your home before you settle in. If you find a toilet is running constantly, it’s going to cost you
money. You should also check under the basin of all sinks in your home, just to make sure there aren’t any leaks.  You should repair or replace any leaky faucets, because the drip-drip-drip of water is also a drip-drip-drip of money.

11. Make sure the vents in all rooms are clear of dust and obstructions. None of the vents in your home should be covered or blocked by anything – doing that makes your cooling work overtime. You should also check all of your
vents and make sure they’re as dust-free as possible, and brush them out if you see any dust bunnies. This improves air flow into the room, reducing the amount of blowing that needs to happen.

12. Install CFL and LED light bulbs in some locations of your home. CFL and LED bulbs can save you a lot of money on energy use over time, plus they have much longer lives than normal incandescent bulbs. Consider installing
some in various places such as closet lighting.

13. Choose energy efficient appliances, even if you have to pay more up front. Unless you were lucky enough to buy a fully-furnished home, you’ll likely have to do some appliance shopping. Focus on reliability and energy efficiency
above all, even if that seriously increases the cost you have to pay up front. A refrigerator that uses little energy and lasts twenty years is far, far cheaper over the long run than a fridge that runs for seven years and guzzles electricity.

Save Money by Lowering Expenses14. Set up your home electronics with a SmartStrip or two. Looking forward to getting your television, cable box, DVD player, sound system, and video game console set up? When you do it, set things up with proper surge protection (to protect your equipment). You might also want to consider a SmartStrip, which allows the on-off status of one device (say, the television) to control whether or not there’s power flowing to other devices (say, the DVD player or the video game console). Having the power cut automatically from such auxiliary devices can save a lot of money over time, especially since many such devices eat quite a bit of power as they sit there in standby mode, constantly draining your money.

15. Air-seal your home. Look for any places where air may be leaking directly into or out of your home. These aren’t just air leaks – they’re money leaks!

16. Plant shade trees near your house. Shade trees naturally cool your home by reducing the amount of direct rays that hit your house. Lowering the external temperature of your home saves significantly on your cooling bills, plus it increases your property value. Plant them now, so they’ll grow and shade your house sooner.

17. Take advantage of and State and Federal tax benefits for any improvements you make.  Check thoroughly be aware of any and all of these tax credits when you invest money improving the efficiency of your home.

18. Create a home maintenance checklist – and run through it for the first time. This list should include regular home maintenance tasks that you’d want to do on a monthly or quarterly or annual basis. Then, make it a habit to
run through the items on this list each month. Doing so will extend the life of almost everything in your home, saving you a lot of money over time.

I hope these ideas help!

If you have any questions on protecting you and your valuables with either a home security system or camera system, please feel free to call our office at (808) 488-4111 and ask for Michael Kelley.  Mahalo!

Aloha Alarm LLC
Home Security Systems
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

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