Smart Home Improvements That Can Save You Money
Owning a home is a wonderful milestone. Whether it’s your first or the next in a line of many, having your own home feels great. Of course, there are plenty of expenses that come with being a homeowner. Mortgage payments, insurance, and upkeep are just some of the costs you’ll need to budget for. While many of your expenses will be fixed, there are certain home improvements that you can make to save yourself some money.
Indoor plumbing is one of modern living’s better perks. Anyone who’s spent time without a toilet can tell you as much. Have you ever given much thought to how much water you use every time you flush the toilet though? While quantities vary from toilet to toilet, the older the toilet, the more water it’s likely using. Those made before 1992 can use anywhere from 5-8 gallons per flush. That’s a lot of water, and it adds up fast when you think about how many times you flush the toilet. Replacing old toilets with low-flow options can save you quite a lot of water, which should help control the cost of your water bill.
HVAC Filter Change
It takes a decent amount of work on the part of an HVAC system to keep a house at a comfortable temperature regardless of outdoor conditions. Your HVAC system does more than just maintain a pleasant indoor climate though. It also helps keep the air it sends throughout the house clean. How? By using a filter. HVAC filters help keep impurities out of the circulating air and out of the system itself, preventing damage. Of course, because those impurities get caught on the filter, the filter will need to be changed on a regular basis. How frequently it should be changed will depend on the type of filter you’re using and the needs of your household. If members of your household suffer from allergies, you’ll benefit from changing it more frequently.
But how does this impact your wallet? The more dust and particulates that accumulate on the filter, the more the system will have to work to circulate air throughout the home. When your system works harder, it is less efficient and requires more energy to function. Changing your filters regularly helps your HVAC system work more efficiently, using less power and thereby reducing the cost associated with running it.
LED Light Bulbs
What type of light bulbs are installed in the house? If they aren’t LED light bulbs, you could be spending more to keep your home lit than you need to. Generally speaking, LED light bulbs are the most efficient type of light bulb you can have in your home. They are designed to produce more light while using less energy. Because of the increased efficiency, you can save money by replacing other types of light bulbs with LED bulbs in addition to other energy saving measures. They may cost a little more upfront, but the cost of LED light bulbs has gone down significantly over the years. And when you factor in the fact that they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, you’ll likely find that the upfront cost is offset nicely by their comparative longevity and efficiency.
How old are your appliances? Depending on their age, getting new ones may be a smart money-saving move to consider. New appliances tend to be far more energy efficient than older models. This can be another way to save some money on various utility bills, depending on the appliance and what utilities they use. That’s not the only reason to consider buying new appliances either. New appliances can be an important part of a home improvement or remodeling project that gives your kitchen a new lease on life. Remodeling can also make you love cooking in your kitchen. Be sure to keep practicality in mind as you select new appliances to purchase. You’ll be using them a lot, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’ll be happy with how they work.
Making sure your HVAC system is running efficiently is only a part of the equation when it comes to saving money on heating or cooling your house. The instructions given to the system is one of the other main pieces of the puzzle. These are, of course, relayed through the thermostat which indicates the temperature the house should be at. Most thermostats require you to be proactive about taking cost-saving measures. A smart thermostat, on the other hand, is far easier to use to your advantage. Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home from your phone, in addition to being able to program them to maintain the home at optimal temperatures while you’re home, but save on heating and cooling while you’re away.
Did you know that your landscaping can save you money? You’ll need to be intentional about planning your landscaping to do this, but it can be done. You can plant trees to shelter your home from the sweltering rays of the sun as well as the rush of the wind. It’s a way of adding insulation to your home that looks beautiful at the same time, allowing you to both save on the cost of heating and cooling your home and add value to your property. Beyond that, you can also try xeriscaping your yard. Xeriscaping has you trading in grass for native, drought resistant plants. This saves you the time you would otherwise spend on maintaining a beautiful green lawn, as well as the water you would otherwise pay for in order to keep it alive and healthy.
Home improvements serve multiple purposes. Some improve the experience you have while living in your home. Others save you money. A few projects can help you do both. Decide what your priorities are and what you want to get out of your experience living in this new home. From there, you’ll be in a better position to decide which home improvement projects make the most sense for you.
You May Also Like
H&H Home Builders have constructed Energy Star Compliant homes since we burst onto the building landscape in 1995 as ‘North Liberty’s Premier Builder’. Since then, Energy Star Guidelines have evolved into what we consider today as the pinnacle of efficiency and we, as builders of ‘green’ homes, have kept pace with those guidelines and have adapted them into each home that we build. H&H Home Builders will build you what is known today as a ‘green’ home, but what has always been lesser known as a ‘sustainable’ home. Sustainable homes are quality built so that they last not just decades, but are built to maintain value, encouraging pride of ownership for generations to come. An H&H ‘green’ Home uses raw materials in a responsible way, using fewer resources, resulting in the use of less energy.