As you probably know by now, being a homeowner is no easy feat. While nothing can compare to the joy of having a place to call home, keeping it in good condition takes time, effort and yes, money. But the reality is, not every home maintenance project out there is worth your buck. Here are five money-saving home maintenance tips that you will thank yourself for following in the long run:
- Clean your downspouts and gutters.
Whether you hire professionals or do it yourself, cleaning your gutters and downspouts can save you thousands of dollars in roof, wall and foundation repairs in the future due to water damage. This is ideally done during the spring when leaves and debris can accumulate in your gutters. If you’re living in an area where there are lots of trees or has stronger winds, it’s best to clean your gutters and downspouts more frequently to avoid clogging them up. Cleaning gutters will help prevent mold, rotting wood, cracked foundations, slippery sidewalks and leaky roofs, all of which can cost a lot of money to fix. You can either hire the pros to do the job for you or buy a gutter cleaning kit in one of your home depots if you want to save more money.
- Heat and cool your home efficiently.
According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling costs make up for about 54% of a typical homeowner’s utility bills. This means that if you can heat and cool your home efficiently, you can significantly cut down your utility payments. The first thing on your list should be to hire an AC service to have your home’s air conditioning system checked, cleaned and fixed. Damaged air conditioners will use up more energy, so having them repaired right away will help reduce your energy consumption. It’s also wise to install ceiling fans in the higher areas of your house where heat tend to accumulate more. Ceiling fans can make your house feel cooler without cranking up your air conditioner, especially during summer and they can also push heat down to the floor during winter.
- Improve your home’s insulation.
Lack of proper insulation is one of the biggest causes of high utility bills and most homes have openings that are not insulated that when added up, is just like leaving a mid-sized window open. That’s a lot of energy and money wasted every time you turn on your furnace or air conditioner. Sealing air leaks inside your home will help you save up to 20% from your energy bill and will only cost at least $40 for materials. To identify leaks and drafts, you simply need to look at how a candle’s flame acts around windows and doors. Flames bend towards drafts, so it’s easy to identify and plug them up. Depending on your budget, you can choose from different types of sealants. If you go for weather stripping, you can actually save up to $108 of your home’s annual energy bill.
- Check your roof for any damages.
Aside from cleaning gutters and downspouts, it’s also very important to check if your roof has damages that need fixing before they get worse. Some roof repair professionals will offer a free roof inspection, but it’s usually charged at about $250. Additional charges may also apply for an interior roof inspection through your attic. But a roof repair and inspection still costs a lot less than having to replace your roof, which could cost you more than $7,000.
- Protect your deck.
Your deck is constantly exposed to the elements, which is why it’s not surprising if it goes through wear and tear. But if your deck starts to peel, you should have it resealed right way to avoid bigger problems. Your deck may be outdoors but if it can’t shed water, moisture will pool in your house damaging your walls and foundations and inviting mold and mildew in. So, if you want to avoid spending hundreds of dollars in major repairs, it’s worth the investment to have your deck resealed, stained and waterproofed.
While you may have been putting off these home maintenance tasks for a while now, think about the potential money that you can save in the long run if you start following them now. You’ll surely thank yourself for being a more responsible homeowner.