Buying a property for sale is an exciting, yet somewhat horrifying experience for most people. It takes careful planning to manage your finances and save for a deposit. Most potential home owners will carefully consider what their monthly bond repayment and levies and taxes will amount to and how their installment will be affected in the event of an interest rate hike.However, in the midst of all the excitement people often forget to take the running costs of a property for sale into account. Water and electricity expenses have risen quite substantially over the past year and are scheduled to rise even more in the next few years. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to consider ways of improving the energy efficiency of your house. Making your house green will not only save you money, but you will also assist in conserving the planet for future generations. It also provides you with an additional selling point when you decide to resell your house one day. Where to start? An easy way of saving electricity is to replace your traditional light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These light bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than regular bulbs while providing the same amount of light. Power utility Eskom recently announced that South Africa saved 1,800MW of power (enough to power a South African city) by a campaign to replace traditional bulbs with CFLs. Insulating your roof is also a great way of improving the energy efficiency of your house. Experts estimate that up to a third of your home heating escapes through your roof. You could also opt for cavity wall insulation. Home owners could also consider using gas for heating purposes. A gas stove or oven or gas geyser will still work in the event of a power failure and will save consumers a great amount of money in the long haul. The geyser is often the biggest culprit where large electricity bills are concerned. Buy a geyser blanket, insulate the first part of the hot pipe from the geyser and you are sure to save an enormous amount of money over time. The thermostat setting in most homes are unnecessarily high – adjust it to 60 degrees Celcius.You could also save energy by installing a solar-powered water heating system. While the initial cost might dissuade you from buying such a system, the long term saving will be substantial. Eskom also offers rebates for customers who install these systems. Take a look at property for sale on the internet – sellers often use solar heating systems as a way to attract potential buyers to their houses.Install a rainwater harvesting tank in your backyard and use the collected water for watering your garden, washing clothes and other household tasks. Even a light downfall can collect litres of water from your roof. Install low-flow shower heads in your bathroom. While showering is more energy efficient than running a bath, installing low-flow shower heads can lower water consumption by substantial amounts.
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