Investing your home improvement dollars in the right projects can have a snowball effect when it comes to saving you money. Some home improvement projects are designed to help you keep costs down. These five home improvements are an easy path to making your home more affordable to live in.
Upgrade Your Plumbing
Conserving water is essential in every region in the United States. It is expensive to cover the cost of wasted water. According to the EPA, a toilet that is continuously running can waste about 200 gallons of water each day. If you multiply that by the 365 days in the year, a running toilet is wasting about 73,000 gallons of water each year.
Running toilets are not the only culprits when it comes to costly water waste. A small break in a pipe, as small as 1/8 inch, can pour out about 250 gallons of water each day. Taking some of your home improvement dollars and using it to upgrade your plumbing can save you tons on your water bill and reduce water waste.
Here are some upgrades you can make to save on water and ultimately on the cost of running your home:
- Have low-flow toilets installed. Low-flow toilets use about half the amount of water that traditional toilets use.
- Install water-conserving showerheads. Water-conserving shower heads are designed with water conservation in mind.
- Upgrade your plumbing with a bathwater diverter. Instead of flushing “gray water” down the drain from your bathtub, you can divert it into a watering system for your lawn and garden.
Using home improvement money to repair and upgrade your plumbing will help you save on costs now and in the future. Also, be sure to have your sewer drain cleaned at least every two years to help you avoid clogs. Consider it an essential home improvement project.
Solar energy installation is an excellent home improvement project that can pay you back in several ways. Most states and the federal government offer tax breaks for installing solar systems in your home. Some states offer grants and other programs to make the cost more affordable.
About 1.6% of U.S. electricity is generated by solar systems. Thanks to technological advances, solar systems for the home are more affordable than ever. Imagine how much you can save if you do not have to pay for electricity.
New Windows and Doors
According to the Department of Energy, about 30% of your home’s heating and cooling is lost through old doors and windows. Replacing your old doors and windows with new energy-efficient windows can help you cut energy costs dramatically. This type of home improvement will save you money and improve the aesthetic of your home.
Retrofit Your Insulation
There have been great strides made in insulation for the home. If your home is 20 years old or older, you are likely to have less than the best insulation. You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by 33%, according to the United Home Builders Association, by retrofitting your home with high-efficiency insulation. The cost savings can be incredible when you use some of your home improvement money to improve the insulation in your home.
Install Ceiling Fans, New Thermostats, and Consider New Appliances
Other home improvements like installing ceiling fans, new thermostats, and new appliances can save you tons of money. Ceiling fans can help to reduce your energy bill in the summer and in the winter. Most ceiling fans are reversible, which means that you can use your ceiling fans to help regulate the temperature in a room in your home year-round.
Today’s thermostats are highly efficient tools. If your thermostat is 10 years or older, using home improvement dollars to install a new thermostat can help you save on energy costs. Older thermostats often lose calibration and are inaccurate, which could leave your HVAC system running unnecessarily. Replacing the thermostat with a new high-tech thermostat that you can control from anywhere can help to keep energy costs down.
Investing your home improvement dollars in new energy-efficient appliances can help to save. Older appliances that are not energy-star rated are draining your energy and ramping up costs. Replacing appliances now can save you a bagful of cash in the future.
When you are ready to make some home improvements, keep your eye on the future. Investing your money in where it will do the most good is a great way to cut costs and get the return that you hope for on your home improvement dollars.