FOR your own comfort now and your profit when the time comes to sell, it pays to get thoroughly acquainted with all the ins and outs of taking care of your new home.
What to do
These tips can help you maximize the safety and efficiency of the place as you make it your own:
• Check filters. Inspect filters in the furnace, air conditioner and range hood and clean or replace as necessary. If the previous owners didn’t leave product manuals behind, search for them online to find the manufacturers’ maintenance recommendations.
• Change lightbulbs. Consider swapping existing lightbulbs for more energy-efficient models or simply wait for the old ones to burn out and make the change as you go. Longer-lasting LED lighting offers energy efficiencies.
• Check the water heater. Experts recommend setting the water heater at 120° F, which is comfortable for most uses and minimizes energy use. To save even more energy, insulate the water heater with an insulating blanket, which can be found at most hardware stores.
• Upgrade the thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling when you program it to fall back 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away at work. Prices start around $20 for basic models that most homeowners can install themselves. With many, you can set the program so your house is already comfortable when you return home.
• Consider window film. Installing window film for sun control can help reduce energy use and protect furnishings from fading. For example, 3M Sun Control Window Films can reduce cooling costs by up to 25 percent by rejecting solar heat. They also help block up to 99 percent of harmful UV rays to minimize fading and are available in varieties that do not change the appearance of the window. This can be a good solution for rooms that get lots of sun exposure or rooms with a patio door access. Window films can also reduce glare on TV or computer screens.
To find how much energy you could save with this improvement, check out the Cooling Savings Calculator at www.3M.com/WindowFilms. North American Precis Syndicate