Tips to Help New Homeowners in Bentsen Palm Save Money

New home communities in the Rio Grande Valley

New home communities in the Rio Grande Valley are an excellent value proposition that doesn’t need to break your bank account.  There lots of things you can do to save money that are free or cheap that can make a positive change in your wallet.  Most of them don’t take a lot of time, and you don’t have to be a home-improvement expert.    We love the following list of tips

  1. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Most people don’t use water hotter than 120 degrees — any hotter than that can scald you.  The energy needed to keep the water above 120 degrees isn’t used effectively anyway. Lower the temperature, save money on your energy bill, never skip a beat.

  2. Toss a water heater blanket around that hot water heater.  Most modern hot water heaters are well-insulated, but a small investment in a blanket for your water heater will slowly and gradually save you money over time.  Keeping the heat in the water instead of letting it disperse slowly into your utility closet is a great idea.  Just be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.

  3. Learn how to use your programmable thermostat.   Don’t just let it run on the pre-programmed schedule.  That program allows you to schedule automatic increases and decreases in your home’s temperature, saving money on cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.  Why would you cool your home for the nine hours you aren’t there?  Additionally, program it to allow the temperature to rise a few degrees at night when you won’t notice the difference.   Until you see the energy bill that is.  

  4. Even an efficient clothes dryer can really eat up your energy costs.  Save money by hanging a clothes rack from the wall in the laundry room and using it for t-shirts, underwear, towels, and pillowcases.  They all dry really well on clothes racks.   If you can hang up 20% of the clothes in a load, you can get away with running the dryer 20% less than before, saving you cash.  Don’t forget to clean the lint trap every time you use the dryer. Not only is excess lint a fire hazard, but it will prolong the amount of time required for your clothes to dry.

  5. Use a SmartStrip or two.  A SmartStrip allows the on-off status of one device — say, the television — to control whether or not there is power flowing to other devices (say, the DVD player or the video game console). Having the power cut automatically from such auxiliary devices can save a lot of money over time, especially since those devices eat up a lot of power as they sit there in standby mode.

  6. Develop a home maintenance checklist, and run through it on a regular schedule.   Most home maintenance experts recommend reviewing the list on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Doing so will extend the life of almost everything in your home, saving you buckets of money over time.  For example, replacing your air filters on schedule takes less than 10 minutes but keeps your AC unit from working too hard.

  7. Block out the sun.   All of those windows in your home are the largest source of heat flowing inside during hot summer days. No need to live in the depressing dark, but closing the blinds and/or curtains when you are not home, blocks the sun from coming inside.  It will help prevent the house from heating up, reducing the need for the AC to cool it down. Blocking the sun is especially important on the western and southern facing windows that receive the most direct sunlight.

  8. Give your air conditioner some fresh air.  Many AC units are surrounded by shrubbery that can restrict the airflow needed to make the systems run optimally. 

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