Tag: home improvement

Four Simple Winter Home Projects That Can Save You Money

Winter is the perfect time to tackle important home projects. But why stop at just improving your home? There are tons of great DIY projects out there that can improve your living situation and save you serious dough. Here are some simple winter projects to help you get started.

1. Update your insulation

Insulation helps keep the heat you generate inside your house, allowing rooms to stay warmer for longer. If you think you’re losing heat too quickly after you turn down the thermostat, you may want to inspect your insulation. Replacing old batches or adding pipe and tank insulation is a relatively easy way to help your home maintain its warmth and shorten how long you run your heater.

2. Seal pesky drafts

Another great way to keep heat inside (and energy costs down) is to eliminate any drafts you find in your home. Using a caulk gun to seal gaps in walls and windows can help minimize the amount of warm air escaping your house. You may also want to consider checking your doors’ weatherstripping for any openings. Replacing weatherstripping is a relatively simple process and shouldn’t put too much strain on your wallet.

3. Buy energy-smart lightbulbs

One of the easiest home improvement projects you can tackle this winter is to swap out your old incandescent bulbs for efficient LEDs. While the initial cost may be rather steep—LED bulbs tend to cost three times more than traditional incandescents—the lifespan of an LED is significantly longer and uses far less energy. If you’re unable to afford the initial cost of LEDs, though, you can look into compact fluorescent lights. These offer similar energy savings to LEDs, albeit without the same lifespan and high upfront cost.

4. Install a programmable thermostat

By automatically adjusting your temperature when you’re sleeping or at work, programmable thermostats can help you drastically cut down on your energy use. Models run at a variety of price points and installation should only take a couple of minutes. Some versions even allow you to adjust your thermostat from your phone, giving you extra control over when your heat or cooling kicks in.

While you might not see huge returns on your winter projects immediately, the savings you’ll make over the following years should be more than enough to make the investments worthwhile. Of course, improving your financial situation during the winter doesn’t have to stop at home improvement projects. You may also want to consider making a budget, work on creating good financial habits and improving your credit score this year. (You can see where you credit stands by viewing your free credit report card on Credit.com.) No matter what you decide, making the best of your time indoors during the winter could really pay off throughout the rest of the year and beyond.

This article was written by Scott Sheldon and originally published on Credit.com.

Fall Is Here – Prepare Your Home

Happy Fall! Hope you had a nice summer. As the days get shorter and the leaves change colors and fall, keep in mind the following indoor home improvement and maintenance items:

Autumn Fall photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image via Flickr user Kasia, via ColdwellBanker.com)

Clean out the gutters

Remove debris and make sure gutters are clear so the gutters and drains can work properly

Check your furnace

Make sure your furnace is working properly sooner rather than later. You will also want to change your filter regularly and clean your furnace so it can work more efficiently and not become a fire hazard.

Clean your air ducts and vents

Make sure you do not circulate dusty air and debris caused by uncleaned ducts and vents. Additionally, removing debris, etc. eases airflow and increases the efficiency of the system.

Check for broken window and door seals

Make sure you are not losing (warm) air by checking cracks in the door frames and making sure windows are properly sealed. Also inspect garage doors to see if they close correctly. If not, install door thresholds.

Also, have exterior windows washed, have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary and make sure to close all doors promptly, so you don’t have unexpected guests/rodents, etc. as the weather gets colder and they want to go warmer places.