Moving into a new house comes with a long list of challenges, among them unpacking, redecorating, changing locks and installing new appliances. Sustainability factors are not always an obvious priority during the busyness of moving, but you’ll get the best return on your investment by making your new home more efficient sooner than later. Putting off a redecorating binge may leave the house feeling a bit bare for the first few weeks, but the long-term savings will more than make up for the transition.
“You’ll get the best return on your investment by making your new home more efficient sooner than later.”
Give your roof a reflective paint job
A study performed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1999 showed that homes with white roofs are significantly more efficient than those with black roofs, offering up to 40 percent savings on cooling costs in the sunniest regions of the country, according to Bankrate. This is due to the reflective nature of white uniform surfaces. Black roofs, on the other hand, naturally absorb light and convert this energy into heat, making homes with darker roofs more difficult to cool.
The resource noted that even the most basic elastomeric coating will be sufficient coverage for most homes in the United States. The coating’s weather resistant properties help roofs to last longer as well. Applying a coat to your home before summer is an easy way to minimize the demand on your air conditioner.
Improve your thermal barrier by sealing up leaks
You can cut down your heating and cooling costs, saving on natural gas or electricity, by eliminating drafts throughout the home. During the winter, these leaks allow hot air to escape the home and force your heater to work overtime – drafts let hot air into the home during the summer, ramping up electricity costs by overrunning the AC.
The San Francisco Chronicle noted that most of these drafts can be solved with a simple trip to the hardware store. Trips to hardware store are common during a home move, so make sure to grab some caulking and weatherstripping supplies. Apply the weatherstripping around doors and windows so that these fixtures make a complete seal when they close. Caulking can be used to fill any holes or cracks in the walls that could be letting travel in and out of your home. Applying these cheap home fixes as soon as possible will ensure your new home won’t suffer from drafty conditions for long.
Do basic maintenance for your HVAC system
Energy Star recommended that homeowners check a few parts of their HVAC systems to make sure everything is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. This goes double when you move into a new home, as previous tenants may have fallen behind on switching out filters or cleaning ducts as they got ready to vacate the property.
The resource also recommended that you continue to replace filters and check for loose wiring or other possible malfunctions at least once a month. Taking care of your HVAC system early on will ensure your family has one less thing to worry about as they get comfortable in your new house.
Switch out your bulbs with energy-saving replacements
Digital Trends said that homeowners that replaced light bulbs in high traffic areas like kitchens or bathrooms saw a quick impact on their subsequent power bill. Your family can take advantage of these savings immediately by replacing most or all of your new home’s lights with LED or CFL bulbs. Energy-efficient lighting, along with a mix of other cost-saving strategies, will help keep monthly power bills at an affordable cost.
The most effective upgrades for your new home will depend on the climate and type of fuel sources available, so learning more about your local utility company will give you the information you need to renovate accordingly.