In the conclusion of our two-part series on how to save money on energy and maintenance costs, we're back with the final eight tips.
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Welcome back to our two-part series about increasing your home's efficiency and saving money on your energy bills. In Part One, we discussed the first nine things in our list of 17 things you can do to reduce your energy and maintenance costs. Today, we'll go over the final items in the list.
10. Install LED or CFL bulbs that are cheaper and last longer than incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs are cheaper than LED bulbs if you're concerned about price.
11. Choose energy-efficient appliances, even if you have to pay a little more up front.
12. Set up your home electronics on one or multiple smart strips. When you set up your TV, video game systems, or cable box, make sure you have surge protectors. Also consider a smart strip, which allows you to unplug devices that aren't in use. Many of these devices eat up a lot of electricity when they're just sitting there plugged in or in standby mode.
13. Plant shade trees near your home. You won't see an immediate return on these trees, but if you plant trees on the east and west sides of your house, it will significantly lower cooling bills during the hot Texas summers.
“14. Change the locks and make spare keys. Most only cost about $25 to $60 and it's easy to do yourself. It's better to not risk having old locks with copies of your keys floating around. Remember to make an extra copy and hide it somewhere or give it to someone important so you don't have to pay a locksmith if you get locked out.
These tips will save you a bucket of money in maintenance and energy costs.
15. Air seal your home. In older homes especially, you need to be mindful of air leaks around doors, windows, and electrical outlets. These aren't just air leaks, they're money leaks. Use weather stripping or caulking to fix leaks.
16. Take advantage of tax incentives for things like solar power. There are many tax benefits available at the federal, state, and local levels right now. You can get up to 30% tax credits for solar power, which can be a great option if you plan to live in your house for nine years or more, because that's the average payoff period for solar panels.
17. Develop a home maintenance checklist and run through it. This should include monthly, quarterly, and annual checkup items like checking your AC filters and checking your vents. Make it a habit to run through these items regularly.
By taking advantage of these tips, you'll save buckets of money on energy and home maintenance costs. If you have any questions about these points or you're thinking of buying or selling a home in the San Antonio market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to help you out.