Owning a home is an achievement. It can also be really expensive. There are so many things that need to be done that no one tells you about – things like home improvement projects and repairs. Many of those projects can actually help you increase the efficiency of your home, though. So, while you’ll have to spend at least some money on home improvements, it’s nice to know that there are projects that will help you recover that investment with lower utility bills.
1. Add Insulation
Adding insulation is one of the most cost-effective home improvements you can undertake. It is relatively simple, and many types can be installed as a DIY project. Consult an R value guide to make sure you pick the right product for your home, climate, and application.
Insulation helps trap that nice, climate-controlled air you like inside while keeping the harsh elements outside where they belong. That means your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature, and your utility bills will reflect that right away.
2. Update Old Windows
If your home has older windows, you are throwing energy away when heat or cool the home. Even if new windows aren’t in your project budget, there are plenty of updates you can make to increase efficiency and reduce energy costs on your existing ones. A few suggestions include:
- Identify and seal leaks
- Use UV-blocking film
- Install storm windows
- Use insulated window treatments
3. Upgrade The Thermostat
As you may have noticed, your HVAC system is a key area for energy savings. That’s because most homes devote about 40% of their energy use to heating and cooling the inside. That can add up to a significant amount of money over the course of a year.
Luckily, it isn’t difficult to reign in the costs of heating and cooling in Downriver MI. A programmable or smart thermostat is an affordable option that can produce big results. In fact, a 10-degree adjustment to your thermostat for eight hours each day can lower your energy costs by about 10%. If you set it to go up or down while you are usually away from the house, you won’t even notice the temperature change.
4. Change Out Plumbing Fixtures
Installing low-flow plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom can cut back on your water consumption. If any of the old ones are leaking, you’ll see even bigger savings. Start with hiring a plumber to handle simple upgrades like swapping out the showerhead or installing aerators to faucets. Gradually work your way up to bigger projects like switching to low-flow toilets and water-saving appliances.
5. Clean Or Replace Filters
This is another really simple home maintenance task that can help keep costs down. There are a host of places where you might find filters in your home. Heating and cooling systems, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, and many other appliances have them now.
Keeping them clean or replacing them according to recommendations allows your appliances to run more efficiently. That means lower utility bills. They will also last longer, so you can save on replacement costs as well.
By looking at the potential savings, you can prioritize projects that will help you save money in the long run. These home improvements will lower the total cost of homeownership and keep your budget under control.