Did you know that most realtors recommend to their clients who are purchasing a home that they request a years worth of utility bills? This will allow home buyers to budget their utility costs for all four seasons. Realtors do not want their clients to have any surprises once they take possession of a home.
This November's bitter cold snap likely caught Surrey, South Surrey and White Rock homeowners off guard. We had many days into late October warm enough for t-shirts. The sudden change caused a chill that likely cost homeowners as thermostats were cranked, gas fireplaces flicked on and space heaters called into action.
We know what we are in for now --- many long months of cold, rain, some snow and the odd sunny day mixed in just to keep us sane. These months can be costly for Surrey and White Rock homeowners. The reality is energy is wasted in many homes. This translates to higher utility costs. If your energy costs are above normal this can translate into problems for potential buyers of your home.
Here are 10 tips to save you money on your home utilities in cold months:
1. Turn your thermostat down a notch (2 degrees) and put on a sweater. Also remember to turn the thermostat down at night. Or if you have a programmable thermostat, set it for lower temperatures at bedtime.
2. Insulate your hot water tank and turn it down. The temperature range should be 60 to 65 degrees Celsius. Also timers can be purchased to turn your water heater off at night and back on again in the morning before you wake.
3. Clean you furnace filter every one to three months
4. Weatherproof your home caulking cracks, etc. See Draft Proof Your Home for Winter.
5. Keep heating vents clear of furniture, drapes and other items that block circulation
6. Replace doors that do not provide proper insulation
7. Close off the heating vents and close the doors of rooms you do not use
8. In the winter ceiling fans should be set to clockwise to push warm air down
9. Use area rugs to insulate cold floors. This is also more pleasant to walk on during colder months
10. Open all the south facing window curtains and blinds on sunny days
Your first benefit of having an energy efficient home during colder months is a lower energy bill. A second benefit is that it is a great selling feature for your home. Paying attention to utility usage and being energy efficient can set you apart from other sellers, particularly in the competitive Surrey, South Surrey and White Rock real estate market.
Mike Alleyne604-785-7066Homelife Benchmark Realty, Surrey
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