The number of people searching for a new house has increased dramatically, especially with the “first-time homebuyer tax credit”:/home-buying/learn/why/first-time-home-buyer-home-loan-tax-credit. With the number of foreclosures, short sales, and standard sales, looking for a house has become overwhelming with various terms and conditions in each type of sale. Home buyers need to watch for a variety of factors including time, conditions of the home, and stringent inspections. So, if you’re looking for a house, or plan to in the near future, here are 55 tips every home buyer should know about before buying a home.
Finally, it’s June and winter is over (yes, I said June)! Whether you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate or you live in a state where you could literally have snow, rain and sunshine all in the same day (e.g. Michigan?), you’ll appreciate the following tips to keep your electricity bill low this summer.
Lower Your Electricity Bill
According to the California Energy Commission, the average home spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs. However, there are ways to not only lower your energy bills but also help the environment. Follow these summer energy-saving tips to cut your energy bills and make your home a “green” home this season.
Sustainable Power Consumption Tips
- Don’t cook! Ok, maybe this isn’t a realistic suggestion, BUT instead of using your stove or oven, you could use your microwave and use less power.
- Don’t hand-wash your dishes. Man, this list keeps getting better, doesn’t it? The truth is that dishwashers use less water than hand-washing dishes. You could let the dishwasher run and let the dishes air-dry in order to save energy.
- Fill up your fridge. The less food you have in your fridge, the more it has to work to keep the food cool. Defrost your freezer; don’t allow more than one-quarter or an inch of frost to build up. Frost makes your freezer work harder and use more power.
- Do your laundry efficiently. Avoid using hot water to wash or rinse your clothes. The colder the water you use, the more energy-efficient it’ll be. Line-dry your clothes to avoid using your drier, saving you energy, and money and keeping your clothes in better shape.
- Shorten Your Showers. Even if you only shorten your shower by a couple of minutes, your energy bill can be reduced significantly.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs. ENERGY STAR-qualified lighting uses less energy and produces 75 percent less heat than regular light bulbs, which means that your cooling bill will also be reduced.
- Change your HVAC system’s air filter. A dirty filter makes air flow slower and will make your HVAC system work harder and use more energy. A good rule of thumb is to change your filter every three months.
- Unplug when not in use. Make sure no energy is wasted by turning off, or even better, unplugging electronics when not in use (most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off”).
- Promote sustainable energy. Install a solar power house fan in your attic to draw cool air into your home. Buy ENERGY STAR appliances. Buy curtains and shades (if you don’t have them already) to close them in order to keep the sun’s rays from coming into your home and to help keep your home cooler.
These are just some of the things you can do to save energy and money. If you’d like to learn more, visit the Energy Star website to learn what “green” changes you can make at home. You can either look up ideas by room type or by energy usage (e.g. appliances, lighting, electronics, etc.)