You’ve just bought your first-ever home. You’re all moved in, the boxes are emptying out and disappearing, and you’re getting acclimated to your new life in your new residence. This is a huge milestone, and hopefully it’s one that you’re both proud of and excited by!
While settling into a new home is fun, it also requires some work—something you’ve no doubt discovered for yourself!—and it provides the homeowner with a golden opportunity to walk through the home and check out some ways to save money, ward off future damage, and get the house looking and functioning its very best.
Before you clear out the last of your boxes, then, and nestle in for “regular life” in your new home, take a few minutes to check off the following seven New Homeowner Tips. Ultimately, you’ll be glad you did!
- Poke your head up into your attic and make sure there’s plenty of insulation up there—probably six inches of it, or more if you live in a colder environment. If you don’t see that much insulation, or if you notice some bare patches, you can and should buy some insulation from a store like Lowe’s, and then spread it. The insulation is cheap and easy to work with, but can massively increase energy efficiency.
- Check the temperature on your hot water heater, and turn it down to 120 degrees. The vast majority of homeowners will never use water that’s hotter than that, so why waste energy heating your water to that level?
- Now’s a great time to replace older thermostats with programmable ones, which will allow you to keep your house cool but also save energy while you’re sleeping or when you’re away from home.
- Hang a clothes rack in your laundry room. If you use that clothes rack to dry even 20 percent of your laundry, as opposed to using the dryer exclusively, then you’ll save a noticeable amount on your electricity bills.
- Do a walkthrough of the kitchen and all bathrooms, checking the faucets for leaks and the toilets for constant or “phantom” running sounds. Faucets can often be repaired just with tightening. If all else fails, you might call a plumber to address these problems before they get worse, or before you lose too much on your water bills.
- Replace the air conditioning filters. You’ll want to do this regularly.
- Check around windows and doors for any cracks or fissures, and seal them up with some caulk.
Do these tasks now and it could save you on future maintenance—to say nothing of energy savings!