Investments in your home come with an upfront cost, but increased efficient and comfort can pay off for years to come. From shrinking utility bills to taking advantage of seasonal, we made a list of how you can lower your expenses and improve your home.
- Extend the lifetime of your filters.
Keeping your filters clean can extend the life of bathroom fans, air purifiers, and window air conditioners. Use a vacuum to pull dust and dirt out of the filters and you may only need to change them once or twice a year instead of the recommended three or four times.
- Choose one neutral color for trim.
Instead of buying a gallon or two of different paint colors choose a neutral color that you can use throughout the house. You’ll save money by buying the paint in bulk and it’ll be easier to find the correct color for touchups down the road.
- Make your own cleaning solutions.
For just a few bucks, you can make your own cleaning solutions using kitchen staples like baking soda or vinegar. Add a few drops of essential oils to scent the mixture however you please. You’ll know exactly what’s in your cleaners and can save money compared to buying brand-name sprays or scrub.
- Smart Use of the thermostat of your water heater.
A big part of the utility bill expense usually comes from anything that needs heating and cooling of a home, one of them is your water heater. To wisely use your water heater, you can set your thermostat to 110-120 degrees. This way, it is not that cold or too hot for quick showers.
With a few turns using your screwdriver in the utility room, you can save as much as $30 or more on oil, gas, and electricity.
- Install a shower time.
Buy and install a shower timer and save water – and money. Once you’re aware of how long you take in the shower, you may naturally start to get in and out quicker. Some timers can be set to automatically turn off a shower, or limit the water flow to just a trickle for rinsing off, after five, eight, or 11 minutes.
- Choose a cool roof.
Roofs with a light color or reflective surface can decrease the inside temperature of a room and reduce your need for air conditioning. You may be able to retroactively turn your roof into a cool roof with paint or a chemical coating. A lower temperature can extend the lifetime of the roof and some of upgrades come with waterproofing, moisture control, or mold prevention systems.
- Save more during seasonal sales.
Stores often mark down their products to make way for new items when the season is changing. For example, Christmas decorations quickly go to clearance after December 25th, why not stock up early for next year? If you want to replace your lawn mower, grill, or patio furniture, wait till fall to take advantage of low prices.
- Pass on extended warranties.
It can sound very practical to extend your product’s warranty, especially on expensive new appliances, but chances are you’ll never use the warranty. This is actually a good thing – many new appliances last longer than even the extended warranty period.
- Schedule a furnace or boiler tune-up.
Instead of replacing your furnace or boiler after a few years, make a habit of scheduling a tune-up for essential appliances. The repairman will remove soot and corrosion that could otherwise shorten the appliance’s lifespan.
- Take advantage of home-improvement rebates.
Look for rebates from energy companies and federal, state, and local tax credits on home improvements. You might be able to get money back when you buy upgrades for your house. Often the rebates and credits are for installing energy efficient products, which provide a dual benefit because your utility bill will drop.