Whether it’s a simple fix or a major upgrade, there are many home improvements you can make that could save you thousands of dollars every year.
- Reduce heating and cooling costs with programmable thermostats, insulation, duct sealing, shade trees, and ceiling fans.
- Cut down on energy costs by upgrading to LED lighting and more energy-efficient appliances.
- Reduce water usage with low-flow showerheads, smart sprinkler systems, and xeriscaping, and invest in bigger upgrades like hardwood floors and a new roof.
- Prevent damage by keeping up with regular maintenance, hiring reputable repair companies, inspecting electrical wiring, and installing leak detector systems.
Reduce your heating and cooling costs
Generally, heating and cooling make up a large amount of your household’s energy use. Small changes to these systems can rack up big savings long term. For example, installing a programmable thermostat for when you’re away. Also, simply insulating your attic will greatly cut heating and cooling costs, adding up to around $600 in savings each year!
A lot of homeowners know to seal up doors and windows so they don’t let the air out, but you should also get your ducts sealed, as small leaks can allow 30% of cool or warm air to escape. Other ways to save money on A/C: strategically plant shade trees to cool your house in the summer, and you can also install ceiling fans as a cheaper way to cool down.
Cut down on energy costs
In addition to heating and A/C, there are other ways to reduce your energy usage and save money on utilities. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, you should seriously consider upgrading to LED. This lighting option lasts longer than incandescent bulbs while using less energy to illuminate your home. Also, upgrade your older appliances to newer, more energy-efficient models, as this will save you money on utilities while also improving your home’s value.
Reduce water usage
There are plenty of simple tricks to save money on water. For example, fix leaky faucets and running toilets, use a low-flow showerhead, and replace an old washing machine hose. These small changes are proven to add up over time.
Besides just these simple tricks, you should also rethink your landscaping. While a large patch of green grass looks lovely, it can be hard to maintain and expensive to water. Consider trading in your grass for xeriscaping. This means replacing your grass with hardy, native plantings that don’t need as much water.
If you can’t part with your grass, you can install a smart sprinkler system. These systems come with sensors that know exactly how much water your grass needs, which is a great way to keep your beautiful lawn from getting over-watered.
Invest in bigger upgrades
Certain home improvements may cost a lot up front, but then end up saving you money in the long term. Installing hardwood floors is a splurge that’s probably worth it in the end. Compared to carpet, hardwood floors last much longer if they’re maintained properly, and they’re also great for boosting your home’s value.
In addition to hardwood floors, you may also consider replacing your roof. Obviously, this isn’t a simple fix, but replacing your roof can save you money on homeowner’s insurance. A stronger roof means more protection from severe weather. (Plus, an energy-efficient “cool roof” will reduce your A/C costs.) You can also save money on homeowner’s insurance by setting up a home security system.
Prevent damage before it happens
It’s easier and cheaper to prevent damage than to fix it after the fact. Make sure to keep up with regular maintenance so that smaller issues don’t lead to big problems down the road. When preparing for the worst, you should put together a list of reputable maintenance and repair companies. Having these companies on hand means not needing to search for them last minute.
Electrical problems can cause a fire hazard, so you should have a professional come and inspect your electrical wiring, cords, and outlets. Some red flags to look for: exposed wire, the spliced wire that’s connected with electrical tape, multiple extension cords, or overloaded power strips.
To prevent serious water damage, consider installing a leak detector system. These systems monitor the flow of water through your pipes and alert you of potential issues before they occur (such as freezing pipes or overflowing bathtubs). Some leak detectors can be programmed to your smartphone, which is definitely useful when you’re on vacation.
Another way to prevent water damage, caulk your tubs and showers to stop water from escaping and causing mold. You should also check the drainage outside your home. After a heavy rain, walk around your house to see if any water is flowing toward your home. If this is the case, you may need to call a professional to assess the situation and prevent flood damage from happening.