Cost-Cutting Home Improvement Projects
When you own a home, you know costs can add up quickly. That’s why knowing how to save money through home improvements is so important. There are many ways to save money and extend your home’s lifespan. One thing every homeowner needs is a maintenance plan and budget. Here are a few of our favorite home improvement suggestions!
Sealing Drafts and Insulating Your Home
You can save energy by insulating your home and properly sealing your windows and doors. Although this is recommended as a way to prepare for winter, this project will also help reduce your energy bills no matter when you tackle it. Key areas to focus on include sill plates, the attic entrance, water and furnace flues, window and door frames, outlets and switches, duct work and the utility access. You can caulk or apply weather stripping to tackle the windows and doors for an easy, cheap DIY project. Adding insulation is a little more complicated and, according to Energy.gov, prices can range up to about $1,500. These improvements can potentially save you around 30% on home energy costs.
Here are a few relatively inexpensive things you can install in your home to help save on energy and water costs over time:
- Low flow shower heads
- A digital learning thermostat
- Dimmers on your light switches
- LED or halogen light bulbs
Small Appliance Upgrades
- Ceiling fans can be an inexpensive way to optimize the airflow, heating and cooling in your home and are useful in all seasons. They can help cut your energy costs by a few percentage points when combined with conservative temperature allowances.
- Kill the vampires. If you have real vampires in your home, get some garlic and hire a Van Helsing. For those electronics that silently suck the energy from your outlets, use “smart” power strips that automatically kill power to electronics when you turn them off.
- Shorten your dryer vent hose. This will increase your dryer’s efficiency by up to 20% and shorten the time it takes to dry a load of clothes.
- Opt for a time-of-use plan to save on utility bills each month. Some energy companies will reward you for doing your dishes and laundry during off-peak times, cutting your utility bill by a few percent each month. Times vary based on your location, but a general rule of thumb is to run your machines around bedtime.
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater’s thermostat. Not only will this save you a few bucks on your gas or electric bill, but it will also help keep the kids from scalding themselves with the extra hot water in the shower.
These ideas are more “big picture.” While the initial cost is substantial, you’ll enjoy many benefits in the longer term.
- Replacing windows can costs upwards of $3,500 for eight quality windows. Making your money back through savings takes about ten years, so each year, you’d expect a few hundred bucks in savings. If you go the DIY route, this could cut your cost by 25%.
- When your major appliances begin to wear out, look to replace them with efficient Energy Star appliances that work to conserve energy while saving you money.
Water-related problems and damage can add up quickly. Regular gutter maintenance will help you stay ahead of the damage before it occurs and the costs are nominal when compared to complicated repairs after water damage. If you want to save some money on home maintenance, give the professionals at Ned Stevens a call for all of your gutter-related concerns. We’ve been helping protect our customers’ homes for more than 50 years, and we’ve earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Let us help you protect your home by scheduling a gutter cleaning today!
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