As homeowners or renters, we are always trying to find ways to save money around our homes on everything from utilities and maintenance to groceries. We sometimes find ourselves running out of ways to save or pinch that penny, after we have made those major repairs or clipped several envelopes full of coupons. This article is going to help you find a few more ways to save money and at the same time help you maintain and improve your home.
The first and most important steps are to check and stop water and air leaks. If water and air leaks aren't stopped first, other weatherizing measures like insulation will be a waste of effort and money. Fortunately there are low-cost winterization kits available to get you started or you can pick up individual items at your local hardware store.
Stopping air leaks in a home can save as much as 40 percent on your heating and cooling costs. Stopping water leaks can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in future repairs. The first thing you want to do is start installing CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs in rooms most frequently used. CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.
Now, before you start sealing up your house with latex caulk (white & clear), you might want to give your house or apartment a good cleaning. Get into those small dusty areas, this will also help you notice areas that might be in need of attention or need a minor repair. You’d be surprised at what you might find during the cleanup.
Once this is done, you can start caulking around door and window frames to start reducing drafts. Instead of replacing kitchen and bathroom aerators, try cleaning the screens of any buildup on them. You will be surprised at your savings.
(Willie A. Price, a real estate investor, Inspector and consultant, is the author of articles on investing, property management and property inspections.