Being extra aware of household expenditures and focusing on the finances of your household to save money for an upcoming move is a great idea. Whether you had time to save in advance or not, being conservative with your money after a move is always a good thing.
At the same time you call your San Antonio movers and start the packing process, you can also start thinking of ways to save money in your new home, One of the best things you can do prior to your move is to brainstorm new habits you can start as a family and actions you can take in your new home to save money. Putting this plan of action in place and targeting specific things you can do to save money is a lot easier to do prior to your move than after everyone is already settled in.
Here are 10 ways San Antonio movers can save money in their new home.
1. Assess your new attic. If you have an unfinished attic it is very important to do a thorough check. This is one area in the home that often gets overlooked, but can easily cost you a small fortune in electricity expenses if not insulated properly.
When you check the insulation in the attic of your new home here is what to look for;
- If there isn’t at least 6 inches or the insulation covering all attic interior walls, or it appears that the insulation is very worn or damaged, install new insulation.
The amount of insulation that you should install depends upon where you live. Insulation is measured in R-values. R-values stand for the resistance to heat flow. You can find the R-value on the packaging. Manufacturers are required by law to correctly label their insulation packages. If you are getting your insulation installed by someone else, installers and retailers must provide the information upon installation.
The less resistant the product is to heat flow, the higher the R-value for the insulation in the home. In the San Antonio area, the Department of Energy suggests R-values of 49 for attics and 19 for floors, in both new construction and existing homes.
- Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch. Consider installing an attic access insulator or tent to minimize energy loss.
- Check for cracks at the top of your house. Warm air rises and holes in your attic hatch leave room for heat to escape into your attic in the cooler months.
- Seal holes or cracks in attic flooring. These holes lead down into the house and allow heat and cool air to escape and waste energy.
- Look for holes or cracks in open wall tops and duct, plumbing, or electrical runs. These holes can be costly in wasting energy and reducing the lifetime of your AC and heating units in a new home. You can use special spray foam to cover and seal them.
- If there is minimal airflow in your attic, consider a solar powered attic roof fan.
2. Lower the temperature of your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius). Typically the hot water needs in a home do not exceed this temperature. This is the optimal setting and will give you highest efficiency in your new home. If the water heater is set to a temperature higher than that it is a wasteful use of energy.
Here’s how to set your hot water heater thermostat in your new home.
- Turn off the water heater circuit breaker. This should be at the electrical box. Look for the breaker that sends power to the water heater and flip it to the off position.
- Remove the access panel on the water heater. Usually this can be done easily with a screwdriver.
- Remove the insulation.
- Your new home may have an upper and a lower heating unit. You will be able to tell if this is the case by noting two panels. If you have two heating units make the changes to both.
- After the change is made, replace insulation and access panel.
- Turn the circuit breaker back to the on position.
3. Make sure all heating vents are opened and unblocked by any new furniture moved into the home or other items. If in your preparations for moving into your new home, you map out your home and where you plan to place furniture, take note of where the air vents are and do not plan to place furniture in any areas that will block these vents.
This should be done to ensure the hot and cool air is distributed evenly through your new home and no electricity is wasted. When furniture blocks vents it causes the unit to run harder than necessary and this may cause you to spend excess money on your electricity bill and reduce the life of your heating and cooling systems.
4. Install ceiling fans in most rooms. Ceiling fans are a great cost efficient way to save money in your home. With the use of ceiling fans you can keep the air a few degrees higher than the targeted temperature you want in your home and still feel comfortable.
5. Wrap exposed water pipes with insulation. Allowing exposed hot water pipes to lose heat as they move water from your heater to your faucet is another way extra energy is lost in the home. Insulating these hot water pipes allows the hot water to reach your faucet at the target temperature and quicker. This simple insulation can be purchased at any home improvement store.
6. Install and use an energy efficient thermostat. Energy efficient thermostats are available by most local San Antonio energy companies. You can find information on particular thermostats offered at your energy company’s website. They allow you to schedule changes in your thermostat whether or not you are at home. This allows you to control your thermostat from your smart phone and keep from wasting money by cooling the house in the hot San Antonio summer if the family isn’t going to be home that day.
7. Install and utilize a clothes rack in your laundry room. A clothes dryer can really eat up your energy costs, but if a clothes rack is near and easily accessible, most people in the family will end up using it. Air-drying your clothes can also extend the life of many garments.
8. Check for any cracks in the basement. Many homes have a few small cracks in their basement walls from the settling of the foundation and the weight of the house. Basement wall cracks can let water leak into a basement if gone untreated, and leak hot or cold air.
9. Install CFL and LED light bulbs. These bulbs might cost a bit more upfront than traditional bulbs, but save money on your energy bill over time, and cut down on the hassle of constantly replacing traditional bulbs with shorter life spans.
10. Choose energy efficient appliances. You may have to pay more up front, but it will be worth it in the long run. Focus on reliability and energy efficiency ratings to get the best value for your investment.
This is just a small list to get you started out in your new home. Many of these changes are incremental, but over time adding these practices to your home will greatly increase the efficiency and decrease the amount of money you may be unknowingly wasting in your home.
We hope it proves beneficial and we look forward to hearing back from you on how it all works in your new home. So your San Antonio moving company has been booked, and your new home is sitting there waiting for your family’s arrival. Once the moving boxes have been packed and the newness wears off it will be time to start settling back into a routine of daily family life.