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12 Ways For New Home Owners To Save Money

The papers are signed. The front door key is in your hand. And you’re about to step into your new home with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and anticipation. Owning a  home can open the door to wealth creation, but paying down the mortgage every month isn’t the only way to reap the financial benefits of home ownership. These twelve tips can help make sure your hard-earned cash won’t go out the window.

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Make A To-Do Checklist That Will Do Well For Your Budget

Keeping track of routine maintenance like replacing air filters, checking for water leaks that might not be in plain sight, and changing batteries in smoke detectors can help avoid costly damage and repairs.

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Save By Degrees

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, letting your house get a little cold or hot while you’re away can save you cash. Turning your home’s thermostat down by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can reduce your monthly electric bill by about 10%.

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Illuminate Savings With Skylights

Who needs to turn on a light (or two or three) when you have natural light pouring into a room? Quality skylights can flood an area of your home with sunlight, making the need for artificial light unnecessary during the day, which can lower your electric bill.

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Don’t Drown In Water Bills

Dripping faucets, a running toilet, an old-school shower head — they can all soak you in terms of extra water costs. Call a plumber if you can’t fix the problem yourself; the cost of the repair will eventually be offset by lower water bills.

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Avoid Getting Steamed Over Water Heater Costs

The U.S. Department of Energy says that water heating can account for up to 18% of your home’s total energy consumption. Consider scaling back your water temperature gauge to less than 120 degrees and adding a water-heater blanket so that the tank retains more heat.

Photo: Pxhere

Landscape For Energy Efficiency

Who knew that savings can take root when you properly locate trees? The U.S. Department of Energy maintains that positioning landscape properly can lower an energy bill by as much as 25%. How? Properly located trees offer cooling shade, reducing the need for air conditioning, and can provide wind breaks in colder climates, impacting  your home’s heating needs.

Photo: Flickr/Brett Gullborg

Say OK To LED

LED lights use less energy, are cooler, and last longer. All of which means they shed light on savings with hardly any effort on your part.

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Use Smart Power Strips

Dreaming of savings? Unfortunately, ‘sleep mode’ on your TV or computer continues to suck power, known as ‘vampire loading.’ Smart power strips detect when a device is in sleep mode and stop supplying power.

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Replace Windows And Open The Door To Savings

With old windows, money could literally be going out the window. Hot air comes in during the summer, brisk breezes blow in come winter, and your air conditioning and heating bills can hit the roof. New windows not only result in savings on your energy bill, they also cut down on noise, saving you frustration when you’re trying to quietly relax or sleep.

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Install Window Shades

Cranking up the AC because your windows let in too much heat during warm weather? Consider cellular shades that let light flow in while keeping heat at bay.

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Stop Drafts And Start Saving

Houses built more than 20 years ago often have leaky windows and doors where heat can flow out or cold air can flood in. According to Dan Bawden, former chairman of the Remodelers Division of the National Association of Home Builders, drafts can be easily and economically managed by adding caulking or weather stripping.

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Schedule An Energy Audit And Lighten Your Bill

Most utility companies offer energy audits:  At your request, they’ll arrange for someone to go to your house, conduct an energy use audit, spot any problems, and suggest fixes. Best of all — it’s usually a free service. Now that should light up your smile.