The excitement of buying a house can soon be tempered by additional price tags that come with the purchased property. Older houses frequently mean older appliances and heating and cooling systems, which also are likely more inefficient than newer systems available today. They may even require you to plan for replacements in the not-too-distant future. Fortunately, new (and even existing) homeowners can benefit greatly from a little planning:
See what needs maintenance. While reviewing your home’s appliances and heating and cooling systems, make note of those that need routine maintenance. Where is the furnace filter? When does the water softener need more salt? When was the dryer vent last cleaned? By noting the systems that need maintenance, you can get into the routine of doing the updates needed to help your appliances and systems last longer while also operating at peak efficiency.
Create a (future) shopping list. Your home’s appliances likely will be of varying ages, and some will need to be replaced sooner than others. Consider what appliances and equipment you will want to buy when it comes time for a replacement. You will make much better decisions when you have time to shop and compare, rather than having to make a purchase once something unexpectedly breaks down. Don’t forget to see what Power Moves® and other rebates may be available for energy-efficient upgrades – which also will help you save money in long-term energy costs.
Don’t forget your electric co-op’s best secret – your energy advisor! Your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor has seen it all – new homes and older homes, from brand new energy efficient systems to those in dire need of replacement. Your energy advisor can provide advice on available options for your home to help you make the best decision possible. Even better, your energy advisor can provide support on how you can get an energy audit done on your home. An audit will provide a detailed analysis of your home’s energy use and an actionable plan on steps you can take to reduce long-term energy costs. Some co-ops even provide these audits for their members!
By making plans ahead of time, you will know the proper equipment and appliances to buy when it comes time. And by planning routine maintenance, you can extend the life of older heating and cooling systems and appliances. For advice on maximizing the efficiency and comfort of your home, contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor. For more ideas on how to plan for your new home – including do-it-yourself projects – visit www.PowerMoves.com.