Aug 16 2013

The Home Improvements that Save You Money

Home Improvements When planning your remodel, you want to prioritize your spending in the way that gives you the best results for each dollar. So why not focus on the improvements that will save you money on your monthly bills or qualify you for tax credits next April? Here are a few of our favorites.

Weatherproof Your House

While improving your home’s insulation isn’t the sort of thing that’s going to be noticed from the street, getting rid of drafts will always pay off. Many utility companies offer free energy audits to help you identify the necessary improvements. In some cases, you can even get tax credits for the upgrades. Check out this list from Energy Star, which describes the credits for insulation, roofs, and more.

Update Your Appliances for Energy Efficiency

If you’ve had your appliances for a while, it may be time to upgrade to the energy efficient models on the market today, especially considering that the top energy suckers in a home are heating systems, air conditioning, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators. Not only will you save on energy costs, but you can also save on water with a new washing machine or dishwasher.

Install Low-Flow Toilets and Showerheads

When you redo your bathroom, consider buying a new water efficient toilet and low-flow showerhead. Both of these will save you on your water bill (Did you know 30% of household water consumption comes from the toilet?) and the showerhead will also conserve the energy used to heat the water for your shower—meaning the hot water will last longer!

Replace Your Windows

If your windows aren’t keeping out the weather, look into upgrading. Not only will better insulating windows make your home more energy efficient, but they’ll also retain their value when you go to sell your home with an average return of 90% of the replacement costs.

Paint

While painting isn’t going to save you money on your monthly energy bills, it’s a cost-effective way to give a piece of furniture, an entire room, or your whole house a brand new look. If you’re feeling like it’s time to make a change, but you’re on a tight budget, see what you can do with a can of paint.

 

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