From mortgage payments and utilities to home maintenance and upkeep, homeowners have many expenses. Add in the hidden costs that can drive up your bills and owning a home can become expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Explore three simple things you can do to help reduce hidden costs and make your home a more energy-efficient place.
Use Smart Devices
While smart home devices are designed to make your life easier by automating processes and giving you more control of these devices via an app or voice control, many can also be used to lower your energy bills and save you money on your utility bills.
For example, smart plugs can be set to usage schedules and switched off instead of leaving the device they’re attached to in standby mode. In fact, this type of hidden cost actually increases your home’s energy usage.
Likewise, smart thermostats can also be set on a schedule to help deliver the right amount of cooling and heating as well as give you control of heating and cooling while you are away from home. Some thermostats can individually adjust the temperature of specific rooms, helping you to use energy to heat or cool only the rooms you are using.
Smart sprinkler systems can help save you money by using the right amount of water that your garden needs. Smart lighting can be set to any brightness, color, and temperature. When fitted with timers, motion detectors, or geofencing capabilities, smart lighting installations can help reduce your energy costs further by switching off lights if you or a family member forgets to turn them off.
Replace an Inefficient HVAC System
An inefficient HVAC system contributes to another hidden home cost. To prevent your HVAC system from creating high energy bills, you need to maintain it. These tasks include changing the air filter regularly and keeping up with preventive HVAC system maintenance. By doing so, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also extend your system’s lifespan and save money on an early, costly system replacement.
If you have an old HVAC system, you could also consider investing in a newer, more energy-efficient system. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing an old HVAC system with an energy-efficient unit could save you 20% to 40% on your home cooling costs.
Switch Bulbs to LED Lighting
Switching to LED lighting is another way to improve your energy efficiency and reduce another hidden cost. LED bulbs run much cooler than old incandescent bulbs and last longer. Only a small percentage of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use results in light. The rest is turned into heat (and yet another hidden cost) that needs to be cooled by your HVAC system, which results in more energy usage and higher utility costs.
While many new homeowners are prepared to pay their mortgages, many aren’t aware of the hidden costs of homeownership that can quickly pop up. Luckily, by taking a few simple steps and make some easy changes, those hidden costs can easily be reduced from your household budget.