Summer Savings: Cut Costs With Summer Home Improvement Projects
With the summer season in full swing and the utility bills climbing, now is the time to take on a few DIY projects around the home. With a few simple tools and an open weekend, you can spend less on pesky bills and spend the savings on your upcoming vacation.
Summer Home Improvement Projects
Clean the Dryer
Help your dryer run more efficiently by giving the hose a little TLC. Over time, dust, lint and other particles build up in the hose, which is why it needs to be vacuumed every few years. To do so, simply disconnect the hose at either end and use a heavy-duty vacuum to clear out buildup. While the hose is disconnected, see if you can minimize the length a bit. Most dryer hoses are installed longer than necessary to reach from the dryer to the wall. Home improvement experts at This Old House recommend shortening the length so that the hose is just long enough that you can pull the dryer away from the wall a couple of feet. Decreasing the hose length will save you money and your clothes will dry faster.
Clean the Pool Filter
Don’t let your pool or spa drain your wallet—stay up-to-date on maintenance. You can prevent costly repairs for your pool or hot tub by cleaning the filter on a monthly basis. The filter should be replaced every one to two years, depending on how often you use your pool or hot tub. Routine cleaning and filter replacement also helps your system run more efficiently and use minimal energy. Skipping cleanings can degrade the integrity of your entire system and cause premature wear and tear, so be sure to keep a log of your cleaning schedule and set calendar reminders to ensure you don’t miss a cleaning.
Caulk doesn’t last forever. Over time, caulk drys out and becomes less effective. Dry window caulk can cause air leakage that will rack up your heating and cooling bills. Old caulk around sinks, bathtubs and showers can promote water leakage into your walls, which over time promotes mold growth, ruining your drywall. While most caulk doesn’t have a specific lifespan, it’s best to regularly inspect the caulking throughout your home to ensure its integrity. Fix any issues with tube of caulk designed for your specific application. There are a variety of types available, including latex, silicone and other specialty caulks. Use this simplified buying guide to help make selecting the right type less daunting.
Dim the Lights
Dimmed lighting isn’t just for date night. Decrease energy usage and create a cozy ambiance any time by installing dimmers in the most-used rooms throughout your home. Dimmed lighting requires less power, so you’ll see the savings right away on your electric bill. Dimmer switches are inexpensive and easy to install with minimal tools. All you need is a few screwdrivers, wire cutter, wire stripper and some pliers, and you can install it in an afternoon. For additional savings, avoid switching on any lights at all until the sun goes down and use natural lighting instead.