Keeping a home up and running is a costly endeavor, but if you plan and save up, you can make certain improvements that save you money over time. These improvements and upgrades may have an upfront cost that doesn't make your wallet happy, but over time, you'll save more money than you spent on that specific home improvement. Below are a few home improvements that you can make to save money in the future.
Make Things Energy Efficient
Not only are energy-efficient appliances better for the planet, but they're also better for your wallet. Energy star rated appliances are certified in using up less energy when they operate than the average non-energy star version of the appliance. Every year, schools in the US spend more than $6 billion on energy, and it's estimated by the Department of Energy that 25% of those costs could be cut by being smarter about energy usage, and the same concept applies to your home. Being more conscious about the amount of energy you use on a daily basis means lowering your energy bills over time, saving you money in the long run.
Check Your Water Usage
The amount of water your household uses can add up to costly water bills over time. Switching out things like your toilet and showerhead for low flow versions can save a lot of water over time. In addition, if you have a dishwasher, try not to run it unless it is completely full. Although dishwashers use less water than hand washing dishes, they still use up a considerable amount of water each time they're run.
Install a Security System
A break-in can be a very costly event, even if you have insurance that covers the cost of stolen items or damaged property. It costs you time, and it can also really hurt you and your family's sense of security in your home. However, more than 50% of intruders have said that if they discover an alarm system, they would stop their burglary immediately. In addition, if someone is casing your home for a robbery and they see your security system, they may avoid your house entirely.
Security systems have become much more affordable in recent years. Certain systems have self-installation, so you don't have to pay for someone to come install your system, and they have low monthly costs to keep up the security system.
Install Ceiling Fans
In the summer, air conditioning bills can rack up high costs and really destroy your energy bills. Instead of blasting the AC when it starts to get hot out, consider adding ceiling fans into your home. Ceiling fans are great for cooling down a room without using as much energy as centralized air conditioning or window units. They are also more effective than smaller fans that you may have. They are also great for times when it's not quite hot enough to turn on the air conditioning, like in the spring before you turn on your air conditioning for the first time in the season or in the fall when there's a sudden hot day.
Utilize Smart Tech
Smart technology has come a long way in recent years. There are great pieces of smart technology that can help you save money that you may waste by accidentally leaving on lights or other pieces of tech. Smart thermostats are great because you can control them from your phone, meaning that if you leave for work and realize that you left your thermostat set too high since no one will be at home, you can easily set your thermostat to a better and more energy-efficient setting.
You can also get smart lighting that you can control from your phone. There are certain outlet plug-ins and lights that you can control from an app on your phone, meaning if you left a light not that you didn't mean to, you can switch it off. This will save a lot of energy over time, especially if you have a habit of leaving on one light by accident all the time. With certain brands, you can also set timers so the lights will automatically turn on and off at the times you want them to.
Install Stamped Concrete Walks
When it comes to your outdoor structures, some patios and walkways will break down after a few years, meaning you'll need to perform maintenance to make it look how it's supposed to. To avoid this, consider installing stamped concrete for walkways and patio areas. Concrete structures can last more than 100 years, so you're making an investment that will last. Stamped concrete can mimic the appearance of more expensive stone without the cost of installation and upkeep that come along with it, making it a very cost-effective home improvement. Concrete can also be colored to match any color scheme you may want -- it's a very versatile material when it comes to outdoor flooring options.
Switch Out Your Bulbs
If you're still using incandescent light bulbs, you're missing out on huge savings. Not only do incandescent light bulbs take up more energy than LED light bulbs, but they also need to be replaced much more often than LED bulbs. LED bulbs can last up to ten years and use significantly less energy to create the same light, making them a much more cost-effective option. Even if you decide not to opt for smart-lights, switching incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs is a good idea.
If you want to make some home improvements that will save you money over time, these ideas will help you. From bigger investments like switching out appliances to smaller things like switching out your light bulbs, these ideas will save you money without you continuing to actively think about them.
What money-saving home improvements have you made? Did you try any of the ideas on this list? Let us know in the comments below.