New Movers: 6 Things You Need to Know to be Energy Efficient
The excitement of moving into your home for the first time can sometimes be overshadowed by uncertainty and first-time jitters. While you may not initially consider being energy efficient as a top priority in your movers journey, it’s actually a major point in several aspects of your new home. From roofing and insulation to your average utility bill, being conscious about energy efficiency can not only save you in time and stress, but also give you some insights for the long run and future homes.
1. Your Average Utility Bill
Whether you’re moving from an apartment or setting up an account for the first time, you’ll need to know who provides utilities to your building and how to set up a new account with them. The monthly price of your bill will vary depending on a large number of factors: your state, time of year, damaged utilities (e.x. leaky faucets), proper insulation, etc.
To get a better understanding of how your monthly expenses will pan out, it’s important to look up your state’s average, ask neighbors their general monthly payments, and keep track of your bill each month. Notice what causes spikes and dips and keep track of the changes after maintenance. Once you have a better understanding, you can target pain points and work toward reducing their effect on your utility bill.
2. Water Heater
Your water heater is an unsung hero, contributing to the dishwasher, washing machine, showers and more. But it can also be an unknown contributor to higher bills. When moving into your new house, make sure you’re following these practices from Ygrene:
- Setting your water heater temperature to 120 degrees, which can reduce water heater costs from three to five percent.
- Changing your shower fixtures to low-flow with aerators. The water consumption is reduced by at least 25% and is easily installed.
- Reduce water temperature loss by insulating hot water pipes.
- Limit hot water use to necessity. Wash clothes in cold water, hand wash dishes before food dries onto plates and take a quick shower instead of a hot bath.
Prioritize checking the current wear, damage and age of the roofing on your new home. There are many different types of roofing, ranging from asphalt to metal or tile, and each of these has a different life span and level of efficiency. Weighing their pros and cons can even go as far as damage control and ease of replacement. However, reviewing the longevity and effectiveness of your roof can save your household in energy and utility bills down the line, as well as prevent damage from severe weather and accidents.
4. HVAC system
Your HVAC system is going to be the central point for pain points in your utility bills. Simple things like changing the air filter regularly and checking the outside unit will need to become a regular practice to ensure the system is running properly and smoothly. Upgrading to a newer unit, properly insulating your duct system, and even reducing the unit’s work by running your fans more often can reduce energy consumption.
Replacing or updating your windows is an important step in keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient. According to the Department of Energy, “heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.” Checking if your windows are in good condition is as simple as conducting a quick energy audit, which will determine if there are any problematic air leaks or severe heat transfer. When considering conducting an energy audit, make sure you’re familiar with the process and analysis results.
Proper insulation can save you as much as 15% off your utility bill. Meanwhile, incorrectly installed, old, or damaged insulation can cost just as much in problems. Having professionals test the insulation in your new home can offer insight into where there may be air leaks and cracks. Be sure to review this Homeowner Insulation Checklist when reviewing what areas may need maintenance and testing.
Taking energy efficiency into account early on in your movers journey can save you time and money in the future. It also puts the best foot forward while living in your new home, creating a comfortable and more affordable environment. So in the midst of unpacking your boxes and signing new papers, be sure to be conscious of improving these 5 things in order to be energy efficient.