Saving Money On Home Utility Expenses – Tips For First Time Homeowners

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Energy SavingsFirst time homeowners may be unaware that the rising cost of energy bills can put a strain on their monthly budget. Without knowing ways to save money on utility bills, you can enter a never-ending money pit in your new residence, regardless of the season.

So to save you from the nightmare, here is a list of some of the most important measures you can take to save on home utility expenses in your new home:

Install a Geothermal System

The US Department of Energy states that the typical family in the US spends around $2,000 each year on home electricity bills. Costs of cooling, hot water, and heating together make up over 70 percent of the electricity bill, so installing HVAC systems, like a geothermal system, can significantly lower your utility bills.

While the top most gas furnace will return a 98 percent efficiency rating, geothermal will return a 400 percent energy rating. This means for every 4 units of energy delivered, a unit of electricity energy will be consumed. The efficient use of energy will lower costs of operation.

Look for Local Electricity Suppliers

To make sure they get competitive rates, new homeowners have the option of comparing providers online with resources like Because of energy deregulation in major areas, there may be competitive suppliers offering alternative rates for electricity. Some websites will help you sort out rates, suppliers, and plans, to help you find the combination that’s right for you.

For example, homeowners living in Texas can take advantage of the deregulation that created market space for REPs (retail electric providers) to compete for the business. The best way to take advantage is the power to compare and choose electricity rates. Just like shopping for a car, a new television, or clothing, sites that allow for comparison with a search engine will help in finding great deals quickly.

Take Care of Your Furnace Filter

Keeping the furnace filter and the furnace itself in your new residence will allow the furnace to function efficiently. Every 6 months, you should properly clean the entire furnace, especially before switching on the heat during the filter season. The filters, if reusable, should be cleaned every 3 months, and unusable filters should be replaced every 3 months.

Why should you emphasis on cleaning the filter, you ask? That’s because they play a vital role in the functioning efficiency of the furnace. By cleaning or changing them at regular basis, you can save up to $50 utility bill annually. Another thing you should do to save further is to clean the area around the furnace, while making sure that floor registers and air return vents are not blocked.

Pay Attention to Insulation

Not running the air conditioner or furnace without feeling the effects of cold and hot weather will only be possible if you properly insulate your new home. It’s because insulation will keep the outdoor air from getting inside and keep the air-conditioned air from escaping. The top priority when it comes to insulation should be the basement and attic, followed by interior and exterior walls, doors, and windows.

Also, you can caulk around the doors and windows and insulate receptacles and switches with special foam inserts. To lower the cost of heating, wrap hot water pipes with pipe foam – this should also prevent freeze in the winter season.

Of course, any money saved on utility expenses can be used to build an emergency fund or as contributions to a retirement account. Stay savvy, my friends!

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Great post! I was a first-time homeowner the summer of 2012 and I had to purchase a new furnace less than a year later – talk about the cost of homeownership! I am thankful for being able to own a home though. I am moving to Montana in the Summer and it will be a great investment to rent out.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Natasha. There are definitely some costs associated with homeownership that people overlook or do not take steps to reduce. Owning a home is great … and even better when you save money where possible!

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