Everyone makes resolutions to improve themselves in the new year, but what about their home? The New Year is the perfect time to make those home improvements you’ve been wanting or putting off for a while. This list of 10 home improvement resolutions for 2014 can get you started:
1. Implement Green Insulation
While the costs can initially be high, quality insulation pays for itself over time in reduced heating and cooling costs. Green insulation is less expensive than ever, and can heat loss through the walls and ceiling of your home in extraordinary ways. Plus, it helps the environment – a win-win situation all around.
2. Replace Your Windows
Maybe your home is brand new, or maybe it’s an old home that’s new to you. If that’s the case, look into replacing your windows – many older window models allow heat to escape around the sides and have insufficient insulation, leading to higher costs for you.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Those suggested heating levels put out by the power company each year really are useful. They reduce the amount of energy expenditure and the stress on the overall grid by keeping the home at a constant temperature. A programmable thermostat can detect when to activate based on ambient temperature, and reduce the amount of time you have to spend monitoring it.
4. Stop Smoking
Okay, this is a personal improvement as well. But if you’ve never seen what damage cigarette smoke can do to a home, you should investigate. The smoke stains walls, curtains, and more, turning them to a dull yellow shade over time. By not smoking indoors, you can prevent smoke damage that reduces the value of your home.
5. Install or Repair a Ventilation System
The air vents in your bathrooms, kitchen and other rooms help to pull out unpleasant fumes, but they also weaken the heating and cooling systems if they have holes. Make sure to patch the air ducts, and if you don’t have a ventilation system, install one; they help to keep the air in your home cleaner.
That hall closet really could benefit from some new shelves, couldn’t it? By improving the storage in your home, you reduce the clutter you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
7. Budget for Improvements
Accidents happen. Sometimes shingles fall off, you get a leak or a pipe bursts. Instead of stressing about the costs of the repairs, budget a set amount of money to deal with them now, so the you have it when the problems do occur.
8. Install LED Lighting
LEDs use far less energy and last much longer than regular bulbs. While the cost of an individual bulb is much higher, LEDs pay for themselves over time in energy savings. Most are rated for a 10 year lifespan, if not longer.
9. Paint the Walls
Painting an accent wall in the living room draws the eyes and gives the room an appeal all its own. Painting a room a lighter color can make it feel larger. If you’ve been putting off a paint job, get it done now.
10. Go Solar
The ultimate in home improvement, solar energy panels on your roof can reduce the amount you spend on the power bill to practically nothing.