You read that title right – learning how to save energy when you buy a new home.
Because truthfully, new homes aren’t always constructed to be highly energy-efficient. Yes, they’re new and they look good. But contractors do cut corners sometimes, which can leave you with massive energy bills when you don’t have a lot of money laying around to pay them!
Your new home has no reason to not be energy-efficient. So, do this to make sure the home you’re getting isn’t an energy efficiency nightmare:
1. Get a Year’s Worth of Energy Bills from the Current Owner
You have the right to do due diligence. There’s no reason the current owner can’t come up with the energy bills for their home.
Remember, your bills will be slightly higher because rates do rise over time. You may also have a larger family, which could increase costs.
But, you’ll at least have a reasonable idea of your energy costs.
2. Ask for a Home Energy Audit
You can get these done in Texas for free. Contractors are happy to do this because they can show you what’s wrong, why, and then you’ll hopefully have them do any work because you trust their opinion.
An energy audit checks things not easily observed. This means the right size HVAC system for your home, insulation amount and quality, return air ventilation, and others.
Make sure you’re present for the audit. This allows you to judge the character of the organization and person doing the audit.
And if you need a major repair performed, you have more negotiating power with the current homeowner.
3. Create Your Energy Efficiency Plan
Armed with your new knowledge, you’re ready to start saving immediately. Your new home won’t necessarily be perfect. And it doesn’t need to be.
But, you at least don’t want to walk into a devastating trap that puts intense financial stress on you when you’re just trying to enjoy your new home.
With what you now know, however, you can create a plan that optimizes your energy efficiency so you can just relax and have fun in your new house!