10 Home Improvements that will Save you Money
When you think about making improvements to your new or existing home, you probably first think about what it’s going to cost you.
It can save you money, too.
Installing certain kinds of appliances, bulbs and more can really add up. Here are 10 home improvements that may cost money up front, but will save you money in the long run.
1. Replace the front door.
Not only can this improve the curb appeal of your home, but a new, energy-efficient front door can also save on heating and cooling costs. Remodeling Magazine says that changing the front door is well worth it, with a return on investment of 86 percent.
2. Replace old or standard windows.
Like the front door, new windows look nicer, and they can help with the resale value of the home. They also can save you money. Remodeling Magazine reported that replacing vinyl windows can bring you a 71 percent return on investment.
3. Install ceiling fans.
Fans can save you money by helping circulate the air. In the summer, they can reduce heating costs, and in the winter, they can even better distribute the warm air as it rises. Tip: Run your ceiling fan on counterclockwise, if it has that option.
4. Install low-flow water fixtures.
Replace your faucets, showerheads and even toilets. Energy Star says low-flow fixtures can cut your water use by as much as half, which means huge savings. Best of all, this improvement isn’t pricey or hard to do. You can find quality low-flow showerheads for about $20. Consider toilets with a “half flush” option to use less water.
5. Replace your hoses.
Check your washing machine hoses to the water supply. If they’re the old black rubber kind, it’s worth replacing them with updated stainless steel options. Although this may not provide immediate savings, the steel hoses are much stronger, and the rubber ones have been known to bust — especially as they get older. File this easy, cheap improvement under preventative maintenance.
6. Add insulation to the attic.
Even if you don’t spend time up there, this will help keep the entire home insulated and warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. While you’re at it, check your windows and doors for drafts. Tip: Even check electrical outlets and light switches, which can be a surprising culprit of drafts in some homes.
7. Replace your thermostat.
Investing in a “learning thermostat” can save you money the smart way: by giving you better control over the temps in your home. You can find all different kinds of thermostats, including kinds you can program from your smartphone.
8. Insulate your water heater.
If your home has an older water heater, cover it in a Fiberglass insulation blanket. This can reduce energy loss — and it’s inexpensive and easy to do.
9. Clean your furnace regularly.
If you regularly (aim for annually) get your furnace (as well as water heater and cooling units) cleaned by professionals, they will function much longer than their predicted lifespan.
10. Replace all of your bulbs with LED bulbs.
LEDs save money and energy. They might be a bigger commitment up front, but when you don’t have to replace them for many years, you will see that it’s worth it. Also consider installing motion sensors on certain lights, such as the garage or basement (if your family members tend to forget to turn them off), and lights that automatically come on at night for your porch and outdoor lighting. This will save you time and effort.