Whether you're saving to buy a home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, or you've already acquired one and are looking for a few ways to cut expenses after the big outlay of buying a home — you can save money with some relatively painless hacks, and give yourself a bit of a financial boost.
Our real estate agents are very knowledgeable about the various fixes their clients have used to cut costs, so here are a few of them.
- Reduce energy usage.
One of the best ways to cut costs is to reduce energy use. Yes, we know energy bills have risen because it's hotter than ever and oil prices are up, but there are some tricks that can help you lower costs, such as: A. Check your home's insulation and if it's lacking, shore it up, particularly on the floor of the attic; B.Seal air leaks with caulk and weatherstripping around door and window frames, baseboards, holes in exterior walls, attic hatch cover, and other areas where your cool air can get out and the heat gets in (install foam gaskets behind switch plates); C. Turn your A/C up a few degrees at night or when you're away from home, then turn it down when the family comes home and is moving around; D. Change your air filter regularly so your A/C doesn't labor to cool the home.
- Save money on irrigation.
The best way to water your landscape in the warm months is with an irrigation system. But whether you use an irrigation system or you are hand watering and moving a sprinkler around, be sure you water effectively. Try to water at night or early in the morning, before the sun is up and the water evaporates. Watering at night or early allows the water to soak into the ground so it does the most good. Rather than watering frequently and to a shallow depth, water less frequently but allow the water to soak in.
- Use fans to keep cool.
If you don't have ceiling fans, install some. Make sure the fan blades are set to go counter-clockwise in the summer so that they can lift warm air from occupant level to the ceiling and help push down refrigerated air from the ceiling, down the walls, and down to occupant level. Keep fan blades clean, so they don't drag when operating. Also, use table or floor fans to supplement breezes as needed. You'll be able to cut back on air conditioning if you keep the breezes flowing.
- Shut blinds, curtains, and shades during the heat of the day.
Shutting out solar radiation will keep the interior of your home cooler. If your windows aren't adequately covered, make it a summer-time project to cover them up.
- Cut down on cooking indoors.
Use the microwave whenever possible to cook or to heat frozen, prepared dinners. Use the slow cooker out on the patio to cook meals; you can even bake potatoes in a slow cooker by pricking them, buttering up skins, and wrapping them in foil — then cover them up in the slow cooker for four hours on high, without adding moisture. If you've got an outdoor kitchen, even better.
- Use mulch to lessen heat stress.
Use mulch generously around trees, shrubs, and flowers to maintain moisture levels and a cooler temperature in the soil so that you needn't water as much. But don't pile it against the plant.
Need more summer fixes to cut costs, or have you got a question about buying or selling a home? We're all ears. Contact us today.