Homeowners Need To Use These Money Saving Hacks Now
Do you ever complain that there’s not enough money? If so, then you’ve reached the right place. We have a ton of money saving hacks for you that all homeowners should know and adopt today. With the rising cost of living, you need to find ways to get that bang for your buck, and we’re here to help you do that. The best part is most of these hacks are simple and easy to achieve; all you need is some patience and motivation and you’re good to go. There’s no better time than right now to start saving money around the house, so start learning what to do. You’ll thank us later!
1. Lower the Temp on Your Water Heater
Did you know that the optimum temperature for your water heater is actually at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius)? After all, most people don’t use water hotter than this because it can burn you so there’s no need to heat it up so high.
Having the water heater boil and keep water above 120 degrees Fahrenheit is only a waste of energy because no one is actually using it. So, if you want to save on your energy bill, adopt this tip now to start saving!
2. Change Your Windows
Another great hack homeowners can use to insulate their homes is to seal it with the right windows. When heat escapes or leaks in and out of your home in troublesome spots around old windows, it causes your hard earned money to literally go out the window because of the energy wastage.
Replace old windows with energy-efficient ones, and homeowners can see their utility bills drop by a least 40 percent per month. Just make sure to find the best price by shopping around to compare prices of local manufacturers and installation companies.
3. Wrap Exposed Water Pipes
Exposed hot water pipes on external walls or cold basements and garages lose heat as the water moves from the heater to the faucet. This is because they are most likely not insulated, which allows warm and cool air to escape from the exterior openings.
Homeowners should wrap their pipes with quality pipe insulation or insulation foam, which can make a two-to-four-degree difference in the temperature of the water passing through them and prevent air leaks. The insulation will also help the water to reach the faucet faster. And for another tip: check the pipes going in and out of your hot water heater, as the first and last three feet of the pipes are the most important places to save energy.
4. Clean Your Vents
None of the vents in your home should be blocked or covered by dust or other obstructions. If you have blocked vents, the heating and cooling systems in the home will have to work overtime, which in turns costs more money.
Every now and then, peak into the vents to ensure they are dust-free and clean them if you spot any dust particles. Remember that the air coming in through the vents is the air you breathe, so make sure it is clean and fresh all the time.
5. Automate Your Thermostat
When homeowners have to manually do things around the house, they are bound to forget half the time. Leaving the thermostat on all day is just such a waste of electricity, but not all hope is lost. Install an automated system or smart timer on your existing thermostat like the Nest Thermostat.
These thermostats learn the homeowners’ habits, are programmable, and come WiFi-equipped so you can make changes from afar. For those homeowners who don’t want to invest in a smart thermostat just yet, a low-tech solution is to place a Post-It note on the thermostat to remind you to manually adjust it when entering and leaving the house.
6. Take a Trip to the Attic
You might be wondering why we’d suggest such a random or absurd idea. Ever heard of insulation? Pop your head up there and look around the beams at the fluffy-looking material. Ideally, you should do this while the attic is still unfinished.
If there is at least six inches (15.24 cm) of insulation between the beams, or more if you live in the northern parts of the U.S., then you’re good to go and your home will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If there isn’t enough insulation or the existing stuff appears damaged, you should add more. Here is an insulation guide compiled by the Department of Energy with details on how much one needs depending on their location.
7. Toss a Heater Blanket Over the Water Heater
If you have invested in a modern water heater or own a tankless “on-demand” heater, chances are it is really well insulated. However, some of us are still using older heaters which don’t really boast good insulation. If that’s the case, we recommend you invest in a water heater blanket.
The blanket will gradually save you money on your heating bill by sealing the heat in the water tank instead of letting it disperse into your utility cupboard or basement. However, be sure not to cover the top or bottom of the heater because of the thermostat and burner compartment.
8. Mark Cracks with Masking Tape
Many homes have little cracks hiding in their basements because of the weight and movement of the house. In most stable houses, the small cracks don’t expand, but if you have problems with the foundation, it’s best to act sooner rather than later.
If you want to test whether the cracks are growing or not, place some masking tape over the end of any cracks you notice inside or outside your house. Make sure the tape is marked with the date you placed it on the wall. In a few months, check the tape; if you see a crack growing out of the end of the tape, you have detected a problem and it’s time to call a specialist. Now that’s a cool hack!
9. Child Proof Your Outlets ― Even If You Don’t Have Kids
A lot of older homes have electrical outlet boxes for inside the home that are in fact situated on the exterior walls. This means that you have poorly-insulated air vacuums in your walls that toy with the heating and cooling of the home. If you want to check if this is the case, take a match or some incense on a windy day and place it in front of an outlet that doesn’t have a plug in it. If you see air movement you have a problem.
The simple solution is to install air socket sealers to improve the overall energy efficiency of the home. Remove the outlet covers with a screwdriver, place the sealers on, then put the cover back on! You can also place those child-proof outlet plugs in the sockets.
10. Launder in Cold Temperatures
Many believe that hot water is the only temperature that can clean pesky stains and dirty laundry. Well, we’re here to break that myth. From now on, start washing your laundry loads with cold water, which in most machines means temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or between 15 and 26.7 degrees Celsius)
Not only will you save a lot of money by not heating so much water; you also won’t believe how clean your clothes will come out of the washing machine. The best part is that colors don’t tend to run or bleed with cold water, so you don’t even have to sort the loads into colors. That’s a serious time saver too!
11. Install an Alarm System
At first, a home alarm system might sound a little paranoid or downright unnecessary, but did know that intruders and burglars are more likely to target homes without security systems? Not only can an alarm system save you some troubles and inconvenience, but it can also save you big bucks.
Homeowners with a fully-operative and high-functioning alarm system save a lot of money on their home insurance policies per annum. In fact, insurance companies usually give a 10 to 20% discount for homes with alarm systems owing to reduced theft risks.
12. Install Solar Panels
For homeowners who are desperate to reduce their monthly electricity bills, this one’s for you! For anyone living in a sunny part of the world, installing solar panels on your roof will make a significant impact on your wallet, as well as the environment.
Firstly, most governments offer subsidies to install solar panels because of the environmental benefits, and in some places, people can even qualify for free. What’s more, solar panels drastically reduce electricity costs in a matter of weeks. Some people in the US have reportedly saved as much as $183 dollars per month after they installed solar panels.
13. Buy in Bulk
One of the best tips we can give to is to buy larger packages of nonperishable items. This includes items ranging from soap to shampoo to sugar to pasta. Look at the cost per unit of all the sizes, and you’ll be surprised to see that most of the time, the biggest ones have the best deals.
There are also tons of sites out there with the best and most-updated coupon deals on hundreds of items. If you find a good deal, buy the items in bulk while you still can, but please don’t buy what you don’t need, even if it’s on sale! This little habit can save you lots of money over several months.
14. Replace Bulbs with LED or CFL Lights
In the long run, LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lights can save homeowners a lot of money. Not only do these light bulbs have a longer life expectancy than normal incandescent bulbs, but they are also a better upfront investment and can save up to $40 a year on your electrical bills. LEDs are usually better in performance, while CFLs are the cheapest bulbs.
LEDs are four times more energy efficient and last for years, so install them in places where you tend to keep the lights on for long periods (or leave them on by accident), like the kitchen, living room, or hallways. One tip when buying LEDs: look at the number of the lumens (amount of light emitted by bulb) on the bulbs rather than just the wattage (electrical power used by bulb) when picking the right one.
15. Get Your Hands on Sunday’s Paper
You might have moved on with the times and prefer to read news online, but that won’t get you those awesome coupons and sale fliers. Yep, you heard right! You can save tons of money just by subscribing to the Sunday edition of your local newspaper.
Indeed, with a weekly subscription, you can start saving coupons and get coupon codes, and then start saving on items you use frequently. You’d be surprised at just how much money you can save at the supermarket with your collection of coupons (before they expire that is).
16. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliance shopping can be fun, but not necessarily fun for your pocket. The best tip we can give all you homeowners out there is to buy the appliances that are the most reliable, durable, and most of all, energy efficient.
For example, if you purchase an energy-efficient refrigerator for a slightly higher price, you’ll be saving much more money in the long run. Soon, the savings will outweigh the initial extra cost and that is something that will make all homeowners smile!
17. Install Ceiling Fans
When you want to keep the air moving in your home, especially when sleeping at night, ceiling fans are the number one solution. With lots of air circulation taking place with a ceiling fan, homeowners can actually keep the thermostat a degree or two higher in summer and one or two degrees lower in winter.
Fun fact: the air directly below the fan should blow down on you in the summer and pulled upwards and away from you in the winter with a simple reversal switch of the modes. Yep, by maintaining normal temperature levels, you’ll save a large amount of money on your energy bills.
18. Invest In a Good Roof
Similar to investing in good windows and doors, homeowners should never overlook the state of their roof. It can be quite a pricey business to replace a roof, however, you’ll be saving a lot of money in the long run if you act today.
Imagine having to deal with the long-term damage of leaks and holes or even bad insulation?! Just the thought of it sounds like a nightmare. So, if you want to avoid issues like these in the future, we suggest that you invest in a roof made of the right materials like slate, copper, and tiles. A good material, coupled with correct maintenance and care, can ensure your roof lasts even longer than 20 years.
19. Air Dry Clothes
We all love to wrap ourselves in warm towels freshly out the dryer in the cold winter months. Better yet, we all just simply love to dry all of our wet clothes in the dryer because it’s quick and easy, but do you have any idea how much energy dryers use up?! Never mind that ― it also shrinks your clothes!
If you want to cut your energy costs drastically, hang your washed clothes on a clothing rack in the laundry room or outside on a clothesline if you have a backyard or balcony. If you can air dry at least 20 percent of your clothes per load, it will save energy and cash.
20. Check Your Toilets and Plumbing
Before you settle into any home, make sure you inspect all the plumbing and pipes. If a toilet is constantly running, not only does it make an annoying sound; running water also costs a lot of money. You should double check all the sinks in your home to ensure there are no leaks.
If you hear any drip-drop from any of the faucets, remember that it’s a waste of water and your money is also drip-dropping down the drain unnecessarily. Leaks can also cause severe mold and mildew problems, which is unhealthy and just plain gross.
21. Upgrade Your HVAC System
Old and faulty heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (also known as HVAC systems) can suck a lot of energy and finances from your household when their prime goal is to actually provide thermal comfort and healthy indoor air quality. Well, gone are the days when your HVAC unit has to work harder and use more energy to pump out low-quality air!
There are many companies out there who can fix and replace these old systems, but did you know you can also replace the filters on your AC and furnace on your own? All you have to do is find the filter (it’s usually large and rectangular) and take down the measurements. Then make a quick trip to the hardware store and pick up a few new ones to replace the old ones, and save the rest so you always have some spare ones on hand. You can also wipe down and clean your air conditioner filters.
22. Plant Trees Near Your Home
When Mother Nature lends a helping hand with cooling and heating costs, you should take it! So how do you go about that? Plant some deciduous trees (the type that lose their leaves in the Fall) on the western and eastern sides of your home.
The trees will naturally cool your home during the summer by reducing the amount of direct sunlight that shines on your home. In winter, your house will enjoy the direct sun rays when the leaves of the trees fall off, keeping the house warmer. While we’re on the topic of trees: if you plant evergreen trees on the north and northwest sides of your home, they will shield your house from cold winter winds. You just need to ensure that the trees are planted at a safe distance away from power lines and the home itself.
23. Ditch the Phantom Electricity
Have you ever wondered if an unused appliance or electronic uses any electricity when it’s plugged into the wall and not being used? Well, it does indeed, so it’s best to unplug anything you aren’t using to avoid excess electricity usage.
That means you need to unplug your cell phone chargers, hairdryers, electric toothbrushes, and any other devices you keep plugged in to save on energy. It might sound like a hassle, but your wallet will thank you in the long run.
24. Maintain an Active Shopping List
We all know that feeling of visiting the grocery store with small stomachs and big eyes. We want everything we can grab in sight, but hold up! Take a moment to think how often you buy things you don’t really need and end up throwing in the trash.
The best solution is to purchase only the things you really need. Do this by keeping a magnetic shopping list on the refrigerator and when something runs out, to write it down and keep tabs. There are also many phone applications that allow you to create lists and sync them with other family members or housemates, such as Wunderlist.
25. Get Paid to Recycle
Did you know that many states in the U.S. pay people to recycle different kinds of items?! Yes, you can earn money back, get rid of clutter, and take care of the environment all at the same time without any additional costs.
In some states, one can redeem the bottles and cans you bought for cash for around 5 to 10 cents a bottle. All you have to do is pay a deposit when you buy a product, and this encourages you to recycle in exchange for extra change in your pocket.
26. Pay a Double Mortgage in December
If you can allow yourself to, we would recommend paying an extra mortgage payment in the month of December. This might sound totally ludicrous and just inconvenient, but there is a reason we have placed this homeowners’ hack on the list.
Were you even aware of the fact that paying double in December allows you to take advantage of the tax deduction on your interest for the year. This tactic can save you a few hundred dollars in the long run.
27. Do Annual Comparison Shopping
You might get fed up over how much you pay for services and goods. Our best advice is to check if you are paying more than you should be by taking a good look at all of your accounts once a year.
Make sure your current accounts are in line with your financial goals and compare what you were spending on the same services the year before to check if there was an unjustified spike in the prices. If your bank fees are too high, time to change banks. If your mortgage is too high, consider refinancing.
28. Pay Auto Insurance Annually in Full
It might sound quite daunting to pay for your auto insurance in full for the entire year, but it can actually save you a lot of money in the long run in the form of discounts and cash back specials.
Most people prefer to pay their auto insurance month to month because it seems more affordable, but if you pay your insurance for six months or a year in one payment, insurance companies often give discounts. It’s a win-win situation.
29. Cut the Cord on Cable TV
Cable TV is fast becoming a thing of the past with services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Cutting the cord on cable TV has saved many people up to $100 a month, which is quite a hefty amount.
Another option is to get a digital antenna and watch all the basic local TV stations for free, without a monthly fee. This solution is for those who find themselves watching less television but still want TV entertainment once in a while.
30. Buy Warm Blankets
There’s nothing better than cuddling up in winter with lots of layers and warm blankets. The truth is, most people don’t invest in really warm blankets, so they still need to use lots of heating to warm up the house.
If you want to save money today, we suggest you buy warm woolen blankets so you can turn down the heaters in the areas of the house where everyone hangs out together. Space heaters can also keep you toasty, but if you leave them unattended for long periods of time, they can cause fires. Blankets it is!
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