No matter the economy or what a person’s income is, saving money has those been a passion of many people and one of the best places to save money is by improving your home. When it comes to one’s home, seeing as how it’s most likely your largest investment, you don’t want to be a cheapskate here. Whether it’s adding insulation to the attic to save on energy bills or adding a deck out back to increase the home’s value, home improvement is an excellent way to save money immediately and in the future. There are some remodeling and home improvement jobs that are DIY but many of the big ones that can really increase your homes value like a whole room remodel. These next few tips should help you to do just that. Enjoy.
Adding anything that’s ‘low flow’ to your home will instantly start saving you money on water. Not only will low flow fixtures save water, which is good for the planet, they will definitely save you money in the long run on your water bills. Not only that but they’re inexpensive and easy to install and most can reduce your water consumption by as much as 50%, something I can easily add up to over $150 per year. The fact that most low flow shower heads cost less than $50 means that it’s an excellent low-cost investment as well.
Adding extra insulation is definitely a no-brainer. Simply put, your home’s insulation will keep your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and the more you have the better. Not only will they conserve on energy but you’ll immediately see a decrease in your energy bills no matter what season it is. A well-insulated attic is a definite must and one of the easiest areas of the home to add extra insulation yourself. If you’re having a home built, make sure that your builder is using the highest rated insulation possible, especially if you are in an area of the country that sees extremes in temperature.
Switching to the new, compact fluorescent light bulbs is a great way to save on energy. These new bulbs are purported to last from 42 10 times longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs and for each bulbs replaced you’ll save about six dollars a year on your electric bills. One caveat; the new bulbs are quite expensive meaning that you’ll probably want to change them one or two at a time rather than replacing all of the bulbs in your home at the same time.
Replacing your dishwasher if it’s more than 10 years old can immediately save you money on electricity and water. Today’s modern dishwasher uses a little less than 6 gallons of water, compared to older models that to typically use 10 gallons or more. If you have a dishwasher that’s relatively new, keeping it well cleaned and maintained is a must and can save you a few bucks as well.
Most homeowners don’t give a second thought to their thermostat but, if it’s not programmable, you’re probably wasting money. The new, programmable thermostats are much more accurate than traditional thermostats and, in most cases, can save a homeowner upwards of $150 per year. The reason is that they can be programmed to turn on and off at very specific times. For example, they can be programmed to turn on when energy costs are lower and turn off when there’s no one at home.
Placing weather-stripping on all of the windows and doors in your home is a definite must. The fact is, that drafty front door or bedroom window could be costing you big bucks due to air leaks that let out your cooled or heated air. Since weather stripping is quite cheap, it’s a quick, low-cost investment that could immediately cut down on the 30 to 40% heating and cooling lost that most air leaks create.
Long used in Europe because of their energy and water conserving features, tankless water heaters not only can reduce water bills by up to 20% but generally last up to 10 years longer than hot water tanks. Even better, tankless heaters never run out of water because they heat the water as it’s being used. Another great reason to get a tankless water heater is that the federal government has some excellent rebates for homeowners that purchase them.
Finally, unless you live in an area of the country where it’s brutally hot, ceiling fans are an excellent way to cut down on your energy bills. Opening a few windows and turning on a few well-placed ceiling fans can reduce your energy consumption, especially in the summer, by up to 5%. Most can be easily installed by the homeowner as well.
Making all of the changes suggested above could easily save you up to 30% or more on your energy bills and, since most of the changes will last for a number of years, you’ll keep getting the savings now and into the future.