Whether you own or rent, chances are you’ve got a mile-long list of upgrades and repairs around the house that are waiting to be completed. Things like fresh caulk and paint can work wonders for making your humble abode look refreshed, but the upgrades that might be more worthy of first considerations are the ones that save you money in some way. Within that spectrum, there are more aggressive money-saving upgrades that might right an investment for long-term payout, then there are the ones that are more kind to your wallet while slowly chipping away at your utility expenses. Large and small, here are some money-saving updates you can do around your home.
Seal Your Home
What should likely be the first and most important upgrade or update in your home is to make sure that your home is completely, totally sealed. Any sort of draft in your home can mean heating or air conditioning running at a higher rate than you should actually need, which in turn means higher energy costs. Depending on things like the age of your home and the type of materials used, this can be as simple as replacing weatherstripping around windows and doors or it could mean more expensive upgrades like replacing doors and windows altogether.
Via Mark Group
If your home has attic or basement space, consider making sure these areas are sealed from the outside world by adding insulation, or if you home is was insulated many years ago consider replacing the insulation with something newer and more efficient. Finally, check for more obscure areas where there could be air leaks such as outlets and light switches. The less invasive of these tasks can be relatively inexpensive and take very little time, but things like replacing windows or installing insulation can require a contractor and, though it’s worth it, tends to be more expensive.
The largest of your appliances — your washing machine, refrigerator, oven or range and so on — tend to be a major pull on your electricity even individually, but cumulatively they can account for a large portion of your utility costs. If these appliances are older, you might consider replacing them with newer models that are designed to consume less energy and to operate more efficiently. Although larger appliances tend to be more expensive, energy-efficient appliances will save you a significant amount of cash by optimizing your energy consumption.
It might seem obvious, but the actual functionality of ceiling fans is frequently overlooked. Installing ceiling fans, specifically ones that can rotate in both directions, can make heating or cooling your home much more efficient. During the months when you’re heating your home, ceiling fans will blow heat downward and help to circulate warmth throughout each room. By reversing fans’ rotation during the time of year when you’re cooling your home, cool air is pulled circulated upward. The ability of ceiling fans to generate this circulation is why they make your home’s heating and air conditioning more efficient, which will mean that your thermostat won’t need to be turned up as high.
Speaking of thermostats, there a variety of programmable “smart” thermostats on the market today that make your home more energy-efficient and save you money. The options range from simple scheduling to thermostats that learn each and every time you adjust the temperature of your home like the Nest. Some of these devices can be a bit pricey, but many of them promise to save you a significant percentage on your utility costs.
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