Money Saving Home Improvements

Money Saving Home Improvements

Updating your home can be an arduous and seemingly never ending process. Your goals for a home makeover may include introducing modern aesthetics, refining the functionality of your spaces, or improving energy efficiency. Of those three goals, improving energy efficiency is the fastest way to save yourself money.

Many utility companies allow you to compare your energy and water usage to similar households, or other properties near you. This can be an invaluable tool to gauge your home’s efficiency and set goals for improvements.

The following are a few basic home improvements to give you the biggest returns with the smallest investment. Many of these suggestions will even earn you a credit on your taxes.

Weather-Proofing

No matter the season, weatherproofing your home will yield significant savings on your monthly energy bill. When the temperatures are scorching outside, weather-proofing keeps the heat outdoors and preserves your cool indoor environment. During cold winter months, weather proofing prevents precious heat from escaping and cold air from entering your cozy home.

Projects of this nature may vary given the age of your home and the climate you live in, but the main areas of concern are exterior doorways, windows, attics, plumbing and utility access, switches and outlets, recessed lighting, and heating and cooling ducts.

Exterior Doorways

Install or replace old weather stripping around exterior door frames to create a tight seal against the outdoor environment. Consider purchasing a draft blocker to place under or in front of the bottom edge of the door. Be sure that handle and lock hardware are securely fastened.

Windows

If you have single-pane windows, consider upgrading to more efficient double-pane windows. When your budget doesn’t allow such upgrades, there are still plenty of options to increase window efficiency.

Attaching a clear plastic film directly to the window significantly cuts down on heat loss through the glass. Caulking around poorly fitting window frames can be a big energy-saver, too. For both heat conservation and heat blocking, thermal window treatments are a great help. Black-out curtains or window blinds that block incoming sunlight will help maintain a cool temperature inside during hot summer months.

Attics and Utility Access

Insulating your uninhabited spaces is a major fortification against the outdoor elements. For roughly $2 a square foot you can add the proper insulation to these areas—an investment that should be recouped within 2-3 years at the longest. Also consider insulating the spaces around outlets and switches, recessed lighting, and certainly around all heating and cooling ducts.

Sprinkler Systems

Summer heat can zap the life out of your landscaping without adequate water. The trouble is, many homeowners cannot find the time in their busy schedules to water at the most efficient times of the day. Moving hoses and sprinklers is a pain, so our lawns and water bills often suffer the consequences.

Installing a programmable sprinkler system not only cuts the hassle out of the heatwave, it saves your pocketbook too. Program your new sprinkler system to water in the early morning hours to improve efficiency and decrease water waste.

Espana Gomez is an author of this blog. Recently she works as an interior design assistant in her town. She loves daydreaming about beautiful homes and interior decor.