I recently read an
article about home ownership advice that I thought was interesting because it listed several money saving tips when moving in to your first home that perhaps most people would not think of in order to save money.
Me personally, I own a condo in downtown Calgary but I still felt like this article raised some good points for the ‘one day’ goal of buying my first home.
With the low interest rates on mortgage loans and the increase of homes for sale in the market, many people are looking at upgrading their current living
situation to take advantage of the low interest rates. For instance, a 5 year fixed at 2.44%! That’s incredible. My current rate is 2.69% so not that far off but nonetheless, amazing rates.
So let’s get to the home ownership advice for those of you who are considering buying a home or have just recently purchased one (or even to share these ideas with friends and loved ones):
- Consider Installing Ceiling Fans – these fans are inexpensive, look a lot better than the old fashioned ceiling fans we think of and they come in a variety of sizes and colours to suit your home décor. I was recently advised by my electrician to install one in my bedroom for the hot summer months. A lot of homes in Calgary don’t have air conditioning because our climate is naturally cold year round. Or if they do have air conditioning, why not consider upgrading and installing a ceiling fans as a way to keep your thermostat lower in the summer and use the fan instead. We don’t experience the humidity that Toronto does due to our higher elevation so places like my condo don’t have any way to cool off. I live on the top floor and naturally, all the heat rises, which is why I will be installing a flush-mount ceiling fan to provide circulation.
- speaking of thermostats: Adjust the hot water tank temperature to about 55 C – Most people don’t have a need to water that is hotter than 55 C. Anything above that can actually be dangerous and it takes more energy to heat up, so why not save!
- A Water Heater Blanket – Newer heaters come already insulated. You can buy an inexpensive water heater blanket for an older unit and it will improve efficiency for long-term savings. Be sure to read how to install the blanket based on the make and model of the water heater so as to not cover the top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartments.
- Buy a Clothing Drying Rack – I always hang my clothing to dry. I find sometimes the immense heat shrinks my clothing and fades the colour faster. Air drying is green for the environment, saves money on heating and guarantees your clothing to stay the same over a long period of time.
- Buy CFL or LED Lightbulbs – switch out the high energy light bulbs in your new home with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light emitting diodes (LED) as they have more longevity and save money on energy costs,
- Attic Insulation – check your new home to see how it’s insulated specially if it’s an unfinished attic. Make sure there is newer R-value insulation and that it’s in between any exposed beams with a thick layer (about a foot) of insulation, in every spot.
- Window Films – another way to save money is to invest in special window film that prevents heat loss during the winter and absorbs the heat in the summer.
- Change the Air Filter – have a look at the air conditioner unit and the furnace filters once you’re in your new home. It could be clogged with dust over the years or other airborne grains resulting from either construction in the past (or present if your renovating prior to moving in). A cost saving tip, buy more than one, maybe 2 or three and change them every 3 or 4 months. The recommendation is more often during the spring and summer months. Clogged filters affect air quality and affects the flow through the entire home; resulting in the units working harder using more energy to do it’s job.
- Wrap those Exposed Water Lines – similar to hot water tanks, water pipes also lose heat to the environment around them. Investing in good quality insulation is easy and will save you money in the long run. Look for these in basements and garages.
- Plant Shading Trees close to your Home – planting deciduous trees (a tree that sheds it’s leaves annually) on the East and West side of the home can help reduce heating and cooling costs year round. During the fall and winter months, deciduous trees lose all there leaves allowing more sunlight to hit the side of the home. During spring and summer when the leaves are in bloom, they provide shading and cool the home. Consider planting Coniferous trees on the north or south side of your home which can shield your home from the cold.
So there you have it, some non-sexy but essential home tips to help save you money in the long run when moving into your first or new home.
What are your thoughts? Have you done any of these tips and have they worked? Any other ideas that would be helpful to know of?