Tips for New Homeowners

Congratulations! You just closed on your new home and you are thrilled to finally have a new place. While you may be focused on getting all your furniture, clothes, appliances, and other various household items moved into your new place, there are a few other things you will need to be thinking about.

Heating and Cooling Systems

To begin with, regardless of what season it may be, you need to change out the filter for your heating and cooling system. All central HVAC systems will have a filter, but locating it can be a bit difficult when you aren’t familiar with the home. Typically, the filter will be located on the return air duct, but here are a few other locations where it may be: the side of the air handler on horizontal HVAC units, on top of the air handler on vertical units, or behind the air return grill.

It will be important to change out the filter because this is what air circulates through before it passes out of your vents. A dirty air filter means dirty, dusty, allergen-filled air for your family to breathe in.

Additionally, it will be a smart idea for you to schedule a time for an AC and furnace/boiler tune-up to make sure that these systems don’t have any broken parts that could prevent them from running efficiently.

If you have a natural gas furnace or boiler, be sure that you have a working Carbon Monoxide detector close.

Vents

After moving in, be sure that vents in each room are free of any dust or dirt-build up. This can prevent air from blowing inside the rooms from the air ducts. Also, be sure that you aren’t setting any furniture or objects in front of the vents as this can also obstruct air flow.

Ceiling Fans

Install a ceiling fan or two to help with keeping air circulating throughout your home. During the summer, the fan’s blades should be spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to prevent warm air from getting trapped at the ceiling. During the cooler months of the year, the fan’s blades should be spinning in a clockwise direction to help with distributing warm air trapped at the ceiling (hot air always rises) throughout your home to keep your family comfortable.

Water Heaters

Consider turning the water heater down to 120 degrees F. The previous homeowner may have had the system set to 140 degrees F. However, you probably aren’t going to need the water to be warmer than 120 degrees, and actually having it warmer could lead to burns for you or your family, including young children who may be playing with the sink or bath tub faucets.

Appliances

When moving into your new home, you’re going to need to get new appliances, and it will help if you purchase energy efficient models. This could potentially help to save you money in the long run. There are many Energy Star® rated clothes washers & dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and other appliances available on the market today.

Plumbing

Check toilets, sinks, faucets, showers, tubs, washers, and pipes in the basement or crawl space for any leaks or clogs. These problems will need to be addressed immediately by a plumber.

Light Bulbs

Replace any existing light bulbs with LED or CGL varieties. These make use of less energy and they tend to last longer than traditional bulbs.

Moving into a new home can be exciting and stressful at the same time. By making a checklist of things you need to do following your move-in date, you can help to keep yourself on top of things so your family can have a functional, comfortable, and efficient home.