advice for home owners, indian river county, Jon and Nancy BastianHomes in the upper mid-west and north east often have huge utility bills in the winter because of the cost of heating oil, electricity or gas heat.As a kid growing up, we used to put up heavy black out draperies in the winter to try and keep the cold out. With more people upgrading to dual paned windows that is probably no longer the case.

Here in Indian River County, Florida, buyers think they want a house with lots of windows that let the outside and Mother nature in. While it sounds lovely in theory, having a wall of glass is just as likely to cost money on your cooling bill in the summer. Which is pretty much in line with a big energy bill in the Northern part of the US during the winter. So what can you do? Plenty, and not all of it requires a significant investment.

First of all, consider purchasing a home that has been built within the last 10 years. They are built to much stricter building codes, the windows and appliances are more energy efficient and they are more likely to have been built just outside of the city proper where the homes are on FPL power.

If you didn’t have a really thorough property inspection when you purchased your home, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get one. They typically cost about $450 for the average sized home, but you could save that money back in a few months if your home is leaking cool air. An Energy inspection is also a good idea, but beware of companies who also offer products to sell. Sometimes they will offer you products you might not really need.

There arealso plenty of  things you can look for yourself.  Check around your doors and see if your weather stripping still looks good. If it’s getting a little ragged, then replace it. Next, change your air filters at LEAST once  month. You can buy the filters in bulk on Amazon and have them on hand in the house, then put a reminder in your phone on the first of each month to change your air filters. Don’t forget to check the drip pan on your air conditioner as well, and once every couple of months put some bleach in the air conditioning lines. Keeping your air conditioner running efficiently will save you money and it will keep your air conditioner running longer.

If you have a 20 year old air conditioning unit, you really should strongly consider getting it replaced. The new units save money. The same thing goes for older applicances. Look for ones that are the most energy efficient.

Check around your windows and doors. If there are eny gaps, make sure to properly caulk and fill them. During the hottest parts of the day, close your blinds to keep the sun out. Sunshine equals heat. Heat equals higher air conditioning bills.

Go solar if you can. There are still some rebate programs for installing solar panels.

Keep checking to see what new tidbits we have to offer you.

Jon Bastian

Nancy Bastian

Real Estate Agents Vero Beach, Sebastian, Port St. Lucie, Ft Pierce Florida

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