As a homeowner, there is certain maintenance, as well as upgrades and renovations that are inevitable, and they are usually expensive and regarded not particularly fondly. However, there are upgrades that, while costly upfront, are actually intelligent investments that will save costs in the future.
Energy efficiency is an essential topic on many people’s minds, not just because of its sustainable merits, but also because it lends itself to cost efficiency. Any homeowner can lower their energy bills by choosing features like solar panels, smart thermostats, smart light bulbs, or updated appliances.
In addition to that, other significant costs like regular carpet replacements can be eliminated by choosing hardwood instead, and you can save on water if you opt for native plants instead of a high-maintenance lawn.
Perhaps one of the most significant changes you can bring is that some simple solar panels installed on your home's roof can make a massive difference in energy costs, especially in winter.
You take a free resource and turn it into something precious by harnessing natural solar power and generating your energy. Energy costs are the most significant expense people have in the cold months. You can help offset that – or even eliminate those costs by taking steps towards becoming a more sustainable consumer.
Installing solar panels requires an upfront investment of around $12,000, which is not a small amount. However, the long-term savings are entirely worth it. Depending on your location, you’re looking at saving a potential 75% of your energy costs, which can be anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000 over 20 years.
In addition, should you ever decide to sell the property, this will help fetch a higher price and attract more buyers.
Staying on energy savings, you can also contribute to that by opting for a new thermostat that enables you to closely control the ideal temperature and optimize the energy consumption for your whole house.
Intelligent thermostats can save significant amounts on energy bills, but they are also straightforward to operate, even remotely. Suppose you leave home and there’s a cold front coming in; you can turn up the heat in your home to stop the pipes from freezing, bursting, and creating damage, not to mention extra costs for clean-up and repair.
That also goes for remotely lowering the temperature if it’s warmer than expected or turning the heating on before climbing out of the covers. No one likes those few minutes of cold before the heating comes on.
Prevent heat loss
Heat loss is not addressed nearly enough when discussing energy consumption and high bills. But it doesn’t matter how efficient your thermostat is; if the environment you create is not good enough, all that heat dissipates instead of being trapped in your home. That’s why you need to invest in some minor upgrades and fixes:
- Insulation is one of the essential pieces of the puzzle, so make sure that your home is adequately insulated from top to bottom – that includes everything from the roof to windows and walls and the floors.
- Make sure to apply a sealant to all frames around windows and doors. That is often the culprit for heat loss and drafting.
- Thick curtains can also help the warm air remain in the room and not escape around the windows. Cover your windows with thermal curtains and notice a difference in the room temperature.
Hardwood flooring is one of those timeless investments that will always add value to your property and make it a more attractive commodity in the real estate market. But even though they are expensive to install, they are genuinely the investment that keeps on giving and saves you money over time.
The primary benefit of hardwood floors is that they do not need to be replaced often, they are not high-maintenance, and they can be refreshed very quickly and inexpensively if you sand them down and stain them. Compared to carpeting, which wears out quickly and needs to be replaced – not to mention the general maintenance it requires, wood floors pay for themselves after a few years.
Most homeowners dream of having a lush, green lawn, but that takes maintenance and a lot of money to install and keep alive and thriving. It’s possible in most climates, but when it’s costing you a small fortune every month in water and fertilizer, it may be time to consider other alternatives.
One option is to install smart sprinklers, which can optimize the amount of water used to water your lawn depending on the temperature in the air, the dryness of the soil, and the weather forecast. They can also be turned on, off, and programmed remotely.
Another option is to switch to native plants. Since they grow locally without needing much help, they are more organic to the topography; they require much less maintenance and less water. So you end up saving a lot both on costs and on time and effort, but without compromising on the look of your yard.
Often, replacing your appliances with up-to-date versions is suggested to upgrade the look of your kitchen, especially if you plan on selling. The kitchen is one of the primary rooms that sell the house to potential buyers, and a great kitchen adds significant value to the property.
But even beyond that, modern appliances also benefit from being more energy-efficient than their older counterparts, thus saving on energy and your bills. It’s an advantage whether you plan to live in the home long-term or sell it to a buyer who its cost-saving features will persuade.
Set up a home office
Many choose not to work from home when they have the opportunity because they don’t want the cost of setting up a home office. But in reality, working from home can save you a lot of money long-term and is also a beautiful feature for potential buyers. Having a home office can significantly increase your home's value in this day and age.
When you work from home, you save money on commuting costs, lunch and coffee, and the extra 10 hours per week that you are spending commuting. Comparatively, putting together a home office is buying a desk, a work computer, a comfortable chair, and a stable internet connection.
If you want to take it even further, you can also spring for some smart light bulbs and smart power switches. It may not seem like much, but it makes a big difference when you have remote control over turning your energy consumers on and off. The investment will pay for itself in a matter of months.
As a homeowner, you are always looking to save on necessary maintenance and inevitable property updates. Thankfully, some of these upgrades are investments that yield a very nice return. Whether you’re looking to save water, energy, or other miscellaneous property-related costs, it is possible to spend money to upgrade your home in a way that is going to save money in the long run.