Real Estate Today
A home purchase will probably be the largest investment we will make in a lifetime. And the costs won’t stop with a mortgage payment. Rising energy prices will continue to make it expensive to run all our modern conveniences. It takes a lot of money to maintain and operate a home.
One of your New Year’s resolutions might be: “Lower out-of-pocket expenses of home ownership.” The following suggestions might be helpful in making some energy-saving upgrades in making your home a little “greener” and thereby saving some green:
Reducing drafts and leaks in a home can save 5-30% each year. It will certainly make your home much more comfortable and inviting. Check to see if air is flowing through any of these: electrical outlets, switch plates, window frames, baseboards, weather stripping around doors, fireplace dampers, attic areas, wall and window-mounted air conditioners.
Consider replacing older single-pane windows that show signs of leakage, water damage, or condensation with newer double pane windows. Windows and doors should be weather stripped or caulked. Visit the DOE Energy Savers website: www.energysavers.gov for helps and suggestions on materials to use.
Inspecting the insulation in the attic and wall areas might reveal heat loss through the ceiling and roof. Increasing the R-Factor in your attic areas help to keep you comfy and warm. It won’t cost you anything to have an energy audit done by a qualified expert in this field.
Upgrading your appliances to more energy saving features can help. Refrigerators and freezers account for 1/6th of all the electricity used in American households. This is much more than any other household appliance. Look for the Energy Star seal on any replacement.
Improving your water usage can help reduce your monthly water bill. Did you know that the average family of four will use more than 25,000 gallons of water per year in just flushing the toilet? By switching to a duel-flush toilet, you can save up to 17,000 gallons of water. That is a 65% savings. Another area of savings would be your washing machine. Front load washers use 40% less than top load.
These are a few ideas we can use to make our homes a bit greener in the coming year. I just wrote out my last checks for 2011. They were to pay my ever-increasing utility bills. Until next week keep smiling. Email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org