If you’re in the market for a new home, you might be overlooking some things that can increase the cost of owning a home by thousands of dollars a year. Sense, a manufacturer of a product that monitors and reports on the specific energy use of devices and appliances in your home, has some insight on that. The company conducted a study based on an analysis of more than 4,000 homes and revealed which wallet drainers to watch out for if you’re shopping for a home this year…
Basement exhaust fans are sometimes installed to dry out damp basements and/or to improve air quality. They’re often mounted in the wall or in a window. Running one could easily add triple digits to your home’s annual utility bill. Yearly cost: $82-$156.
Hot tubs are a great way to unwind at the end of a long day—but they are a luxury item for a reason. The hefty upfront cost of buying one is just a down payment on what you’ll be paying to heat one through the year. Yearly cost: $600-$1,200.
Swimming pools can be a contentious subject as far as whether or not they add or subtract to a home’s value. What is not up for discussion, however, is that fact that it costs money to power one. If you have a pool, you’ll be spending on the pumps, heaters and lights that will be running when it’s swimming season. Yearly cost: $310-$620.
Radon-elimination fans are needed when high radon levels are detected in the home. Those systems often include fans that run continuously to draw fresh air in from under the basement. If you need one, you can expect it to tack a few hundred bucks onto your annual utility bills. Yearly cost: $50-$400.
How to deal with the energy hogs: Naturally, Sense recommends installing smart monitoring equipment like the kind it sells, but the authors of the study also give a few tips that you can use for free. Ask the seller to provide a year’s worth of utility bills or a few months of data if they have an app-based smart meter. This will help you gauge typical energy usage in the home so you can compare it to the neighborhood average. Next, look for common energy hogs like those described above, ask the seller to upgrade to more efficient appliances or to modify systems like pools or spas to conserve energy.