After spring cleaning comes the joy of home maintenance in the summer. Keeping your home in tip-top shape gets expensive, as the typical American home costs $1,126 to maintain every month. Ideally, the homeowner should spend at most between one to four percent of their annual income on home repair, but there are ways to curb the costs.
Don’t sweat expensive repairs when it comes to home updates or renovations. Try these seven ways to cut down the costs, before you empty your bank account:
- Use Energy Efficient Lighting
For $5 to $15 invest in a few CFL lights that are dimmable or mix it up. Purchase dimmable switches for incandescent lights and CFL lights, which last longer and save energy, at your local depot store. Though LEDs will save about $170 more every year than incandescent lights, they’re expensive and incandescent lighting is phasing out.
CFLs take several minutes to reach full brightness, but only start at $1.25 per bulb and save more money than incandescent lighting. Instead of hoarding old bulbs, invest in a brighter, equally eco-friendly and budget friendly bulbs.
- Replace AC Filters
Don’t overwork your central air conditioning or raise your utility bills by avoiding the simple chore of replacing the air filters. This simple task will keep the air free-flowing through all ducts and stop the blower motor from being too strained. Your new filters extend the life of the overall unit by keeping mold and dust off the condenser coils.
For the price of a greasy spoon dinner, grab a few filters and save more on your utility bill. Your HVAC is responsible for about half of your energy costs monthly, and by replacing your filters every three months you save 7.5 percent a month and decrease energy consumption overall by 15 percent.
- Pick a Cool Roof
If you have to replace your roof, anyway, pick a cool roof with a lighter color. While the color of your car doesn’t matter when it come to auto insurance, the color of your roof affects the cost of your energy usage.
Cool roofs are designed to reflect more light from the sun and don’t absorb as much heat as typical roofs. The material itself is highly reflective and are used on shingles, tiles and other types of roofing. Changing the roof color will also lengthen the life of the roof, while protecting it from UV rays.
- Plant a Tree
More specifically, choose a deciduous tree to plant on the east, west or south side of your home. This provides additional shelter over your roof to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent over the next hundred years. A few of the fastest-growing trees to plant include nuttall oak, hybrid poplar, northern cattalpa, weeping willow and red maple. Conduct a land survey to avoid planting to close to underground lines.
This will prevent you from overworking your HVAC system and save money, while giving back to nature and adding a beautiful addition to your yard.
- Put it all on a Timer
Extend the life of your electronics and household systems by placing them on a timer. Do this for the hot water and on your lighting systems, and note that you can save gallons of water by using an irrigation controller.
Program computers and other electronics to cut on and off at specific times. By unplugging your computer or timing your usage, you could shave a few bucks off your utility bill every year. Remember to use your battery powered devices to their full extend before recharging.
- Save Your Septic Tank
It’s important to treat your septic tank right, and when it starts to fail, know when you need a new one. In urban areas, sewer lines are more common than septic tanks, which are usually found in rural areas.
There are many pros and cons investing in a septic tank, especially when it comes to being eco-friendly and saving money. For example, fiberglass septic tanks won’t rust or crack like steel or concrete ones, yet they may change position with damp soil or be vulnerable to weight above ground. Septic tanks don’t have monthly costs associated with them, since they are independent of city services.
Septic tanks are durable and eco-friendly. They usually last for several years, and utilize drain fields as natural filters, while benefiting local plant life as water for the soil and food for small creatures. To extend the lifespan of your septic tank, only run full loads of laundry and a full dishwasher.
- Keep a Maintenance Routine
One major source of expensive maintenance costs is letting the work pile up, eventually leading to risk for a disaster. Don’t wait, and don’t cut corners with repairs.
Save more money in the long run by developing a home maintenance routine now. This way you can make a game plan for saving for more expensive costs you know are coming, like a new water heater that needs to replaced after ten years.
Don’t let home maintenance costs creep up on you and rob you blind in the middle of a beautiful summer’s day. Save more time for grilling, gardening and fun with the family.
Get in front of home maintenance with a solid routine, and take a few preventive measures now, such as replacing your AC filters and switching to more energy efficient lighting. These ideas will help you cut down on home maintenance costs this summer and save you more money in the long run.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.