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Thursday, January 13, 2022

What You Can Do to Reduce the Energy Use of Your Home

What You Can Do to Reduce the Energy Use of Your Home

This post contains paid affiliate links, please read our Advertising Disclosure Statement.




Let’s be honest here, we’re all struggling a little when it comes to household finances these days. The pandemic has taken a huge toll, and the impact it’s had on the job market doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon. In the meantime, it’s up to us to find ways to make our expenses fit our income. Reducing your energy bill can help, but only if you can find some ways to reduce the amount of energy you use. So what can you do?

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

So this one requires an upfront cost, but it’s one that can pay off if you’re able to swing it. Old kitchen and laundry appliances tend to be less energy efficient than the models of today. Part of this is due to increased inefficiencies that happen over time, while the other part of it is that newer appliances have been built with greater efficiency in mind. If your appliances are reaching the end of their lifespan, it’s time to start looking for newer, more efficient options. Once you have them, you can sit back and enjoy the extra savings you get just because the new appliances are using less power than the old ones.

Don’t Leave Things Plugged In

Ever heard of energy vampires? It’s the term that is used to describe things that get left plugged in and still pull electricity even if they aren’t actually being used. Phone chargers are a classic example of this. We tend to leave them plugged in all the time, regardless of whether or not we’re charging a phone. The problem is that the charger is still pulling electricity as long as it’s plugged in, regardless of whether or not a phone is charging. Unplugging appliances and electronics may not net you a ton of savings, but sometimes even a little savings here and there can help.

Add More Insulation

Your HVAC system probably has the greatest impact on how much energy you use in your home. The harder it has to work to heat or cool your home, the more energy it has to use to get the job done. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency. One of them is to add more insulation to your home if you don’t have adequate insulation in places like your attic, walls, ceilings, floors, and more. Insulation allows you to maintain a more consistent temperature throughout your home, preventing heat loss in the winter and heat gain during the summer. This means your system won’t have to work as hard, reducing the amount of energy it uses.

Use Efficient Windows and Doors

Adding insulation isn’t the only way to maintain your home’s internal climate. Windows and doors can be major culprits when it comes to the loss of heat and cool air, especially if they aren’t energy efficient. That could cost you, literally. Energy efficient entry doors save money by reducing the need for heating and cooling. Energy efficient windows can do the same. If you aren’t sure if your windows and doors are a problem, you can always have a home inspection done. Some companies use infrared thermal scanning that can identify whether or not you have a problem in these areas.

Leverage Natural Light

Do you find yourself turning the lights on during the day? If so, you could be using energy unnecessarily. Natural light can go a long way towards lighting up your home. It’s free too, which means you’re saving money on the energy you aren’t using to light your home. Feel free to open up the curtains and blinds. Because natural light has mental health benefits, you may even find that your personal energy levels improve along with your energy savings in this area.

Get Smart

Have you hopped on the smart home bandwagon yet? If not, you could be missing out on some opportunities to reduce your energy use. Smart home technology allows you to control things like your home’s heating, electronic devices, and lights remotely, enabling you to maximize your savings opportunities. Remember how we said earlier that your HVAC system has a huge impact on the amount of energy you use? With a smart thermostat you can control the settings remotely, allowing you to adjust to more energy efficient settings while you’re away and then back to your comfort level when you’re getting close to home. Smart lights mean that you won’t have to worry about leaving the lights on again either. Reducing your energy use has never been easier.

Trimming a little here and a little there off of your expenses can make a difference when it comes to trying to stretch the income you have a little further. Finding ways to reduce the energy you use around your home is just one thing you can do to help cut costs. What are some of the money-saving strategies you’ve used in your household?

Read this next: How to Add to Your Home in a Way That Boosts Your Equity


Thank you for stopping by and checking out What You Can Do to Reduce the Energy Use of Your Home. Which suggestion was your favorite? What other tips would you suggest? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, we’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don't want to lose this? Pin it on Pinterest so you can get back to it later!
 
Have a great day!


Monday, January 10, 2022

Important Steps on the Way to Building a Custom Home

Important Steps on the Way to Building a Custom Home

This post contains paid affiliate links, please read our Advertising Disclosure Statement.



If you’ve been getting ready to start building a custom home, you’ve come to the right place. There are a lot of different steps to take and things to decide when it comes to building a custom home, and it can feel pretty overwhelming at times. However, there are some very important steps that will provide the bones and structure for your home build journey. Here are the most important steps to consider as you’re getting ready to build your custom home.

Create Your Vision

First off, you need to create a vision for the type of home that you want to build. This could include anything from the exterior structure to the interior decorations to the land that the home will be built on. Make sure that you are collecting ideas from magazines, social media, and websites to give you inspiration for your vision. Bookmark ideas that you love and create a specific folder, physical or digital, full of elements that you want to include in your home. This will help you to know how to navigate the next steps of your home build journey, and it will guarantee that you end up with the dream home you’ve always wanted.

Find Builders

Next up, you need to find builders to work on your home build. If you are building your home in a development neighborhood, chances are that the business running the development already has a team of workers that will build your home. However, if you aren’t building your home in a development neighborhood, you’ll need to find those builders yourself. It can be helpful to hire an experienced contractor since oftentimes they have building teams that will work with them on their projects. Try to find a contractor that is experienced in the specific style and type of home that you are wanting to build. This will help you to work better on achieving the vision for your home.

Look into Financing

Once you’ve found builders, it is important to look into financing. Buying a property and constructing a home can be quite expensive, and most people need a mortgage or loan to get started. Make sure that you look into the different mortgages and loans available for people building homes so that you find a plan that will be affordable and convenient for you. Your home build will be so important to you and your family, so you want to make sure that you can keep up with your mortgage and/or loan payments as time goes by.

Buy a Vacant Lot

Now that you’ve figured out your financing and have a plan for paying for your home, it is time to find the perfect spot for your home build. You need to have land or a contract closing soon to start building your home. So, it is important to search for a vacant lot that fits within your budget and that is also in the ideal setting for your home vision. The price for lots can vary based on the surrounding area and the size of the lot. However, you need to prioritize what is most important to you. A half-acre lot that is near lots of convenient stores, restaurants, and schools, will probably be more expensive than a full-acre lot that is on the outskirts of town. So, take these elements into account as you’re looking at lots and determining how much you’d like to spend on your land.

Choose Your Layout

Once you have your lot, your contractor and builders will want to get working, so it is important to determine what you’d like the layout of your house to be. If you’re building in a development neighborhood, the owners will likely have a number of layouts that you can choose from to create your ideal house. However, if you’re wanting something a lot more customizable and personal, this can also be achieved outside of a development neighborhood. As you’re planning your layout, make sure that you take into account how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need as well as hosting and entertainment space. For example, if you have a large family and want to have them over often, you might want to choose an open floor plan for your kitchen and dining area. Your layout will determine the functionality of your home.

Choose Your Materials

After you’ve determined your layout and the builders have started working, it will be time for you to start choosing the materials that you want to use in your home. This can include everything from countertops to carpets to flooring to lighting to your home’s exterior. The truth is, there are a lot of choices that you’re going to have to make when it comes to the materials of your home build, which is why it is so important to have a vision for your home beforehand. Make sure that you prioritize the materials that really matter to you, so you’re not going over budget on everything.

Add Finishing Touches

So, your home is finally finished, the builders have vacated the area, and now you are left with the empty canvas of your home to decorate. Hopefully, you’ve left enough money in your budget for furniture and finishing touches. Fill your home with furniture, decorations, and accessories that make you happy and that are personal to your family, lifestyle, and interests. This will make your empty house build into a personalized home.

Now that you’ve read this article, you know all of the most important steps that will help you to achieve your vision for your custom home. Remember, if you feel like you need additional help on any of these steps, take some time to research and find specialists that can help you to accomplish your goals. Soon, you’ll have the custom home build that you’ve always dreamed of and your family will be able to enjoy that special space together.

Read this next: How to Add to Your Home in a Way That Boosts Your Equity


Thank you for stopping by and checking out Important Steps on the Way to Building a Custom Home. Which step was your favorite? What other steps would you suggest? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, we’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don't want to lose this? Pin it on Pinterest so you can get back to it later!
 
Have a great day!