5 Home Upgrades That Save You Money
Want to update your home, but can’t justify the expense? Advancements in technology and home furnishing have changed the way that houses operate, so your decision not to modernize your home may actually be costing you money.
Luckily, home upgrades don’t have to be expensive—and can even save you money in the long run. These five household upgrades may not seem so inexpensive now, but will more than pay for themselves in the long run.
Replace Your Big Appliances
If you haven’t upgraded your kitchen in a while, your appliances likely aren’t as efficient as they used to be—or could be now. This is particularly true of your larger appliances (think air conditioners, heaters, washing machines).
Replacing a big appliance is expensive, so pick and choose the ones that will save you the most in the long run. For example, most washing machines last about 8 to 12 years, while heating and air conditioning systems last 15 to 20, according to WiseBread. Ultimately, the upfront cost will be worth every penny when you’re saving up to $110 each year (for a family of four, according to Zillow).
Seal and Insulate
According to Matt Golden, a consultant to the Department of Energy, the “envelope” of your house is the best place to start when you’re making upgrades that will save money in the ling run. Sealing and insulating your home “reduce[s] your house’s heating and cooling demand,” allowing you to pay less for heat and air conditioning.
When it comes to insulation, if you do nothing else, insulate the floor of your attic because heat rises. Aim for at least 10 inches of insulation on the attic floor to make the most of this upgrade.
Epoxy Your Garage Floor
Made by pouring a thin layer of epoxy on a concrete or tiled floor, epoxy floors extend the life of whatever surface is underneath, making it ideal for garages, especially those that hold one or more cars:
“Flooring covered with epoxy will have a long life and can handle a massive amount of traffic. This is water resistant and dust proof, meaning cleaning up garage flooring is easy and fast,” explain experts at Garage Floor Epoxy. You’ll save on maintenance costs while giving your garage the facelift it needs.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Installing low-flow sinks, toilets and shower heads not only saves you money, it also saves the environment. Low-flow fixtures are defined by the amount of water they produce, but restricting water flow doesn’t mean sacrificing on your hot shower.
There are two kinds of low-flow shower heads: non-aerating (pushing water through smaller holes to create a harder, massaging spray) and aerating (mixing in oxygen for a soft, bubbly shower). These fixtures can save you nearly $150 a year and can cut your home water consumption by almost 50 percent, as reported by U.S. News.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats have a reputation for being complicated, but when it comes to money savings, the learning curve doesn’t seem so bad. A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for your home at different times of the day. In the winter, for example, you can set the house to stay cool when you’re at work, and to warm up right before you get home.
Check out these guidelines for choosing your perfect thermostat, and then look forward to saving 15 to 20 percent, according to House Logic.