Improving Energy Efficiency with Your HVAC System

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Keeping your home comfortable when the weather gets cooler can have a significant impact on your energy bills. In fact, your HVAC system is one of the biggest sources of energy usage in your home. You could end up spending more than you planned to on heating, especially if the weather turns colder than usual. With a few energy-efficient tips, you can make sure your home stays warm while also lowering your heating costs.

Replacing Air Filters

Your HVAC system has an air filter that’s used to catch dust, pet dander and other particles. This stops these particles from spreading all over your home through your ducts when your heating system is running. These air filters can become clogged and covered with these particles over time, which causes your furnace or heat pump to work harder and run more than usual. When this happens, you’ll notice a steep increase in the amount of energy your HVAC system is using.

Having a clean air filter in your HVAC system is an important part of making sure that it’s able to heat your home efficiently. Air filters should be checked for debris once a month and replaced as often as needed, which is usually every one to three months. If you have pets, you might have to replace your air filter more often. 

Scheduling Routine Maintenance

Your HVAC system should have routine maintenance done in order to work efficiently. Even if your furnace or heat pump seems to be running smoothly, there might be minor problems going on due to wear and tear. Routine maintenance helps catch these issues before they turn into bigger ones that prevent your heating system from working efficiently.

Adjusting Your Thermostat

Making adjustments to your thermostat setting can help you cut down on your home’s energy usage. In fact, the Department of Energy states that adjusting your thermostat between seven and ten degrees for eight hours a day can help you save up to ten percent on your heating and cooling costs. Consider lowering your thermostat at night and when you leave home for the day. You can turn it up to a more comfortable temperature when you’re home during the day.

Getting a Programmable Thermostat

Although adjusting your thermostat helps you become more energy-efficient at home, remembering to do so can be a challenge. Having a programmable thermostat means you won’t have to worry that you forgot to lower the temperature setting before you left home or after you’ve gone to bed. Programmable thermostats allow you to schedule temperature adjustments at certain times of the day.

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Homebuying Pitfalls To Avoid

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Buying a home ranks among the largest purchases everyday people make in their entire lifetimes. If you have gone through the process at least once, you probably gained some valuable life lessons. Whether it’s time to purchase a larger home for a growing family or downsize to a more manageable living space, there are pitfalls that trip up even experienced homebuyers. These rank among the unforeseen issues that can cause setbacks and ways to avoid them.

1: Overcompensating For Past Regrets

When buyers search for their next home, it’s not uncommon to be driven by the perceived shortcomings of the last. For example, you bought a property that had all the living space you need. This may have included a home office, attached garage, and plenty of room to entertain guests. The downside may have been a lack of outdoor living space. Driven by the desire to have a veranda, deck, or big yard, emotion may cause you to compromise on other musts. It may be in your best interest to make a checklist of your needs and be certain you won’t experience buyer’s regret, a second time.

2: Skipping Contingency Planning

It’s not unusual for people to see properties moving quickly in their area and become overconfident yours won’t sit on the market long. The common mistake is to move forward and buy your dream home while expecting only a short period of holding two mortgages. If for some odd reason the market goes dormant in your neighborhood, the financial implications could prove disastrous.

The flipside is selling your hot property and renting as a stop-gap measure. Low housing inventories and competitive markets could land you in a pinch, and home-ownerless for an extended period. These are the reasons why people rely on contingency plans. Craft a deal that sets the homes up like a series of dominoes. When one sells, they all move, and you spend only one day relocating instead of many in a tight spot. Contingencies provide security and stability.

3: Forecasting A Neighborhood’s Future

No homebuyer or real estate professional has a crystal ball that accurately predicts a property’s value. But there is plenty of hard data that can be used to indicate whether a neighborhood is trending in the positive or negative. This may be particularly true in 2020.

Potential homebuyers can look at the pricing that includes listing, sales, and valuations that began before the last recession and lending crisis. You can expect to see a decline in these measures during that rough period. But these days, the economy is robust in many areas. How the property, and surrounding area, performed coming out of the recession could be a telltale sign of where values are heading. The point is to conduct thorough due diligence about the home and others in the neighborhood. Making an informed decision is critical to purchasing a property, regardless of whether you’re a newbie or seasoned homebuyer.