It’s the warm summer season once again, and if you’re like many individuals, it may be time to buy a new home. Even if you’re not buying a new home though, these tips will still help you save money.
These are the main ways you can save money when buying a new home:
1. Have All New Appliances
Newer models are almost always more efficient than older ones. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, as those appliances generally use 10-20% less energy than standard models.
Make sure this is true with your water heater, which is responsible for consuming the most electricity in your home.
2. New Windows
Windows can account for up to 25% of your electric bill. What happens with older windows is they let in too much hot air, which causes your air conditioning to kick in.
Double-paned storm windows with “low-e” coatings are the best at minimizing heat loss. Make sure you have weatherstripping that seals off air leaks as well.
Make sure your walls, floor, and attic have the insulation needed to keep your home energy-efficient. Some homes are ENERGY STAR certified, which means they meet the EPA’s energy efficiency requirements. If that hasn’t happened for the home you’re considering, ask the realtor if anyone has ever performed a home energy audit.
4. Light Bulbs
Even though the federal government has said we can longer produce incandescent light bulbs, they’re still found in many homes. At minimum, you’ll want to replace them with compact fluorescents, which have the fastest financial payoff.
LEDs save the most energy because they use less power to generate the same electricity and last twice as long as CFLs. Because of their high cost though, LEDs still cost more to operate over their lifetime than CFLs.
While CFLs are the most cost-effective option, the prices of LEDs are expected to drop rapidly in the coming years.
5. Water-Efficient Landscaping
If the home you’re considering simply has to have a sprinkler system, make sure it’s an energy-efficient one. And there’s tons of things you can do to modify your landscaping to be more water-efficient.
This includes using dark soil to retain more moisture, using only native plants in your gardening and landscaping, and using mulch to replace water-consuming grass.
Even newly constructed homes can have huge opportunities for saving energy. Now, at least you know where to begin looking.