Adopt a few of these home tips to find a bit more cash each month. Your house gives you so much: Security, pride and shelter. But, with all that on the line, there are plenty of expenses that are important, and some are simply a waste. Here’s how to save money each month without putting a dime of home value at risk.
• Don’t rinse dishes — Two minutes of rinsing with the faucet on full power will consume 5 gallons of water — the same amount efficient dishwashers use during an entire cycle. Shocking, right? And it’s an unnecessary step since most newer models are equipped to remove even stubborn food debris. Just be sure to clean the dishwasher trap regularly to keep your dishwasher running efficiently.
• Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge — You won’t have to waste time and money running the faucet, waiting for it to get cold enough for a refreshing sip.
• Set a timer for the shower — The average American takes an eight-minute shower and uses about 17 gallons of water. It’s easy to linger, so set a timer for five minutes. Or try this more entertaining idea: Time your shower to a song or podcast segment.
• Replace your old water-hogging toilet — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that by replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense-labeled models, the average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent — nearly 13,000 gallons of water savings per year.
• Close closet doors — Each closet and pantry may hold a paltry amount of square footage, but you’re still heating and cooling it. Add up all the storage space, and you’ve got the equivalent of a small room. Shut the doors to keep the conditioned air out.
• Don’t crank the thermostat up or down too far — A common misconception is that a furnace works harder to warm space to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings, states Energy.gov. As soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
• Use fans year-round — Ceiling fans can reduce your summer cooling costs and even reduce winter heating bills — but only if used correctly. Flip the switch on the base to make the blades rotate counterclockwise for a cooling effect or clockwise to help distribute heat in the winter. And in the warmer months, an attic or whole-house fan can suck hot air out and help distribute cooler air so you can give the AC a little break.
• Add insulation — By sealing air leaks and installing the right insulation in places like attics, crawl spaces and basements, homeowners can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling — 11 percent on total energy costs, according to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. For the typical homeowner, this translates to about $200 pocketed year after year.
• Use curtains as insulation — Another way to practice energy-saving passive heating and cooling? Open curtains on sunny windows in the winter and close them up in the summer.
• Cool with a cross breeze — On a breezy day, open a window on the side of your house that’s receiving the breeze, then open another on the opposite side of the house. Make sure the window on the receiving side is open a little less than the exhaust side to accelerate the breeze. You can also use a fan if there’s no breeze outside.
This content is copyright 2022 Ohio REALTORS. Read more at: https://www.ohiorealtors.org/prez-column-35-money-saving-household-tips.
Marlin Palich is president of Stark Trumbull Area Realtors, which serves Trumbull, Stark and Carroll counties.