As many of us are feeling the sting of rising living costs as well as hikes in energy prices, it’s understandable that some are turning their attention towards being proactive and reducing these costs as much as possible with the help of useful tech and smart practices. Of course, this does mean that in some cases, you’ll have to spend a bit to save a lot which can be a daunting prospect. Making a financial investment like this into your home not only helps you to save a bit of cash each month, but certain improvements can also increase the value of your property, too. Here are some of our best ideas for money-saving home upgrades that you can make today.
Install Smart Devices
The first thing to consider should be the installation of smart devices. There are generally a great addition to any household and can provide you with savings as well as extra convenience in your day-to-day life. For example, you could install a smart meter that will plug into your mains and analyse where you’re overspending and which devices are using the most power. You could also install a smart thermostat that will help you to manage your heating much more easily, even when you’re away from home, just in case you leave the heating on when you leave in a rush. You can also switch those power-hungry incandescent bulbs for low energy smart LED lighting. These smart bulbs can also be controlled when away, so you can make sure that nothing is turned on when it doesn’t need to be. Plus, this also adds an extra security option as you can make your home appear as though someone is in, even when there isn’t.
Seal Windows And Doors
One of the prime factors when it comes to overspending is having to keep the heating turned on for longer than it needs to be. Ideally, your home should get to the desired temperature and stay that way for hours before needing to readjust. One of the reasons why your home might be cooling much faster than it should is poorly sealed windows and doors. Even the tiniest of gaps in window and door frames can suck the heat out of your house very quickly. You should consider checking all of your doors and windows for gaps and replacing the seals with caulk, as this could significantly reduce the amount of time you need to heat your home.
Add More Insulation
Similar to heat escaping through the gaps in your windows and doors, heat can also dissipate through surfaces, too. If you touch an outer wall from the inside of your home, for example, it will likely feel relatively colder than internal walls. However, if that wall feels ice cold, then it might be poorly insulated. You can get these walls properly insulated by a professional so that your home retains more heat. You may also have to do this with your attic space, as heat also escapes from the room, generally more easily due to heat rising.
Change Your Shower
Your water usage is another thing to think about when looking at saving money. While water bills are nowhere near as concerning as energy bills today, cutting down where possible and in multiple areas will stack up and help to save a noticeable sum. You can very easily reduce the amount of water you use by reducing the number of baths you have and turning off taps when not in immediate use. For example, not leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth, as some of us are guilty of. But you can also add different shower heads to your shower that actually reduce the amount of water they use but also increase pressure at the same time, providing you with a much more enjoyable shower while cutting water usage substantially.
Get New Windows
There’s only so much you can reduce the amount of heat escaping through your windows by sealing them with caulk. Unfortunately, it’s not just small gaps that will let warm air escape, but the glass itself allows heat to dissipate through, just like it does through walls and roofs. If your windows are not double-glazed this will happen much quicker, so finding new windows that provide the best fit for your home is essential. Finding the best double-glazing windows will help you to reduce that heat loss significantly, keeping your rooms warmer for longer and reducing the amount of time you need to keep the heating on.
Switch Out Appliances
Of course, buying a new £50 kettle with the aim of saving a measly £10 per year isn’t entirely the smartest of choices, but if you do end up needing to buy a new appliance, it’s important to choose energy-efficient models where possible. For example, if you’re changing your refrigerator as part of a kitchen renovation or redecoration project, you’ll want to double-check the energy rating on the models you’re considering to ensure that it’s better than your current model. Most new appliance models today are built with energy efficiency in mind, and so looking at newer models will generally result in your finding a much better appliance in terms of power usage.
Avoid Using The AC
During the summer, especially when we experience unprecedented heat waves, we have to do what we can to cope with the high temperatures. One way of improving this is to ensure you have plenty of shade around your home, both internally and externally. Blocking windows with heavy yet light-coloured blinds can help to reflect the sun’s rays and the heat, and you can also plant trees and bushes outside of your home to absorb that light too. This, along with your improved insulation, which also works to keep the heat outside, will mean you won’t necessarily have to run expensive, high-energy fans and air conditioning units, saving you a lot of money over the summertime.
Add Some Security
Having home security systems installed within your home can actually help you to reduce your monthly insurance costs significantly. Smart cameras, smart lighting, and other useful security features reduce the risk of burglaries, acting as a deterrent to opportunists. Not to mention the more obvious reason that a home security system will also reduce your risk of losing valuable items that you might need to pay out for in the event of them being stolen. Even with insurance, you’ll likely be required to pay an excess payment to have everything replaced, which still ends up with you being out of pocket.
Choose Solar Energy
One very logical method of reducing your energy costs is to simply generate your own. While solar panels can be expensive to purchase, they can not only save you money, but they can make you money, too. You can sell any excess energy these panels generate to energy companies themselves. This will eventually help you to break even on those solar panels and then start turning a profit for you. You could take those panels with you to your next property, too, or leave them installed at your current property, increasing the overall value of the property when you decide to sell.