There’s no getting round it...moving home is expensive. You budget and plan for every single eventuality, and yet there are always a few surprises along the way. This can leave you feeling financially battered and bruised, and first six months to a year in a new home can often be a tough time for many families.
Knowing a few simple tips can be a big help as you begin to settle in. In this post, we’re going to give you some ideas that will help you reduce costs and save cash when you first move in to your new home.
Ready to start saving? Let’s get to it!
Check your insulation
Poor insulation can not only result in uncomfortable living conditions, it can also cost you a fortune in extra energy charges too. Giving your new home a quick once over with insulation in mind is an easy way to start saving cash right from the get-go.
A fine place to start is the attic. If you have a loft space that hasn’t been converted, there’s a good chance that the insulation up there may leave something to be desired - if there’s any at all!
Look between the beams in your attic for insulation matting and check how much of it there is; ideally you’ll be looking for at least six inches in depth. Keep in mind that damaged insulation is almost as bad as having none at all, so replace any that looks torn or has begun to break up and crumble.
Once the loft has been inspected, it’s time to check the walls. If you’re moving into a relatively new home (10 years old or less) it’s almost guaranteed to have cavity wall insulation. Anything older than that, however, is worth checking.
Finding out what lies behind the walls can be a bit of a chore, but it’s a whole lot easier to do when you first move in and don’t have your furniture in place. Plus, it’s likely you’ll be decorating at least one room, so choose one of those to do your investigative work in. How do you do it? This article from thespruce.com will show you.
Next up are your pipes. Any pipework that hasn’t been lagged and insulated should be dealt with immediately. Doing so will not only hold heat in hot water feeds for longer, it’ll also help prevent all of your pipework from freezing should the weather really turn nasty. This is still surprisingly common - especially when people go on holiday during the winter months - and can cause an incredible amount of damage.
Last but not least, is the hot water tank. The vast majority of homes we visit these days no longer have water heaters, as the combi boiler has largely taken over, but for those that do, there’s an easy way to lower your energy bills - a tank blanket. Wrapping a hot water tank blanket around your boiler is a simple job, but the impact on costs can be dramatic.
Having one in place will help lower the amount of times you’ll need to heat the tank and, therefore, save you money. However, it’s important to use a blanket designed for the job rather than trying to bodge it with old towels and such. Remember to keep the top, bottom, burner unit, and thermostat uncovered when you insulate your water heater.
Fit a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats will soon become the norm, but at the moment very few homes have them. Installing one as soon as you move in can help you achieve some astonishing savings, and give you greater control over your living conditions too.
A smart thermostat gives you the ability to control the temperature in your home remotely. While this may sound a little high-tech and unnecessary, consider the way many of us now live our lives. Lots of us have to commute and work flexible hours, both of which make old fashioned programmable thermostats utterly inefficient.
Add to that the fact that you may choose to go out from work rather than go home - or how about the times when you forget to turn the heating off when you leave? - and you’ll start to get an idea of the benefits a smart thermostat can bring. Being able to control your heating via a smartphone or tablet is the way to go.
One thing to bear in mind: smart thermostats are not the same as the smart meters your energy supplier will send you. Smart meters are simply a way for you to digitally send your meter readings through to the energy company and will not give you the power to control your heating whilst on the move.
Embrace energy efficient appliances
If your new home doesn’t have white goods and you’re not bringing your own with you, now is the time to switch to more energy efficient models. Unsurprisingly, these appliances come at a premium as their technology is greater than the older, more power-hungry white goods, but the extra cost can be worth it in the long run.
Do your homework and read reviews online. Try and find the best balance between energy efficiency and reliability and you won’t go far wrong. Good appliances can last a very long time, so the cost is worth it - especially as you’ll be saving every time you pay your energy bill as well.
Change your light bulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs are commonplace these days, but some older homes may still have them fitted when you first move in. Changing over to CFL or LED bulbs can save you a pretty penny in energy costs, and they generally have a longer lifespan too.
Install ceiling fans
This may sound a little weird for shivering UK residents, but hear us out. Installing ceiling fans can actually save you money!
Unless you have underfloor heating, the majority of your heat is being wasted as it gathers up around your ceiling. Properties with high ceilings are obviously affected more, but even relatively low ceilinged rooms can be incredibly inefficient when heated solely by radiators.
A ceiling fan set to low will circulate the air in a room and help push all that lovely warmth back down to where you need it. This means your radiators will call on your boiler less often, which will ultimately lower your energy bills. Plus, they’ll also come in handy on those two days each year when the temperature actually gets hot enough for us to seek out ways in which to cool ourselves down!
Research energy suppliers
When you first move in, you’ll need to get energy running into your home, but don’t just plump for the supplier you’ve always used - do a bit of digging. A simple online search can save you hundreds of pounds over the course of a year, and when you first move home that money can be very handy indeed.
Check comparison websites and look out for those who have ongoing incentive schemes too. Having your energy supplier linked up with your favourite supermarket’s loyalty scheme, for example, can bring in some additional vouchers or discounts you would have otherwise missed out on. All of which helps when you’re operating on a tight budget.
Get financial help
Finally, it’s worth spending a little time going through the Government’s energy grants calculator to see if you are entitled to some financial help when making your home more energy efficient.
That’s it, we’re done! These seven tips should help you save a bob or two when you need it most.
If you’d like to discuss moving home with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Give our team a call or drop them a line today and we’ll do our very best to make your move as stress-free as possible.