If you’re a homeowner, you understand how much it costs to run a home properly. If you have children, those expenses will grow even more. You may be curious about how you can help the family budget. After all, by being resourceful, you can do your family budget a service by being able to provide a comfortable cushion, so you and your family can be comfortable for years to come. Here are a few tips for saving money at home.
1. Invest in HVAC Maintenance
Your HVAC unit plays a role in keeping the temperature in your home comfortable year-round. Can you imagine your AC going out during the dog days of August? You’d have to pay a big bill to get last-minute costly repairs or to buy a completely new unit. When you have regular HVAC repair and maintenance, you can prevent small problems before they develop into big ones. While repairs will be necessary at some point, the amount of repairs you need and the frequency can be reduced by having your HVAC contractor come for scheduled inspections and general cleaning. You can also increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit so you won’t have to pay to buy one sooner than expected. According to Bob Vila, a well-maintained unit can last up to 15 years. Invest in good HVAC maintenance and help the value of your home. What if you decide to put your house on the market soon? If you have a functioning HVAC unit, that’ll impress any homebuyer, as it’ll be one less thing they’ll have to worry about. However, if you have an old malfunctioning unit that needs replacing soon, it could possibly make or break a sale.
Then there’s the issue of health. Did you know HVAC repair plays a major role in the health of you and your family? After all, your AC or heater doesn’t just cool or heat the air in the home. It’s also responsible for filtering and circulating air throughout. Imagine what can happen if you haven’t gotten regular HVAC maintenance. You may have a buildup of dirt, debris, and even mold within the filter. Therefore, whenever you turn a unit on, that nasty air will circulate throughout your house and get into your family’s lungs. When people are breathing in dirty air day in and day out, it can create new or exacerbate existing respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema. If asthma attacks increase or allergies develop from dirty air, that’s more medical bills you and your family have to worry about. As you can see, your family budget can take a major hit just by not getting timely HVAC inspections.
2. Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Are you aware of just how much water your toilets waste every time you flush them? According to the EPA, the average American toilet uses as much as five gallons of water in each flush. When you have several people in your home constantly flushing a toilet, imagine how much water you’re paying for and wasting. Your local plumbers can install a dual-flush toilet in which you have one flush option for waste and another one for solid waste. A higher efficiency toilet only uses about 1.2 gallons per flush, which is a major difference from 5.
You can also save a great deal of water by installing low-flow shower heads. Your home can save about 700 gallons of water annually with a new shower head installation. If you’re worried about losing water pressure, think again. These low-flow shower heads use less water but still have a good amount of water pressure for you to comfortably shower.
Do you enjoy taking baths but currently have a tub that’s at the end of its life span? A malfunctioning tub can also have leaks and create other costly issues that local plumbers can deal with. It may be time to consider a bathtub replacement so your family budget won’t have to waste money If your current tub is the source of a plumbing leak.
One of the most affordable plumbing updates you can make is scheduling regular maintenance. An issue can occur with your tub, shower, or toilet at any time. You don’t have to wait for a clogged drain or overflowing toilet to call your local plumber. Regular service can help you help your family save money on expensive repairs, replacements, or damage that can ensue because of water damage resulting from a faulty bathroom fixture.
3. Upgrade the Electrical
Having a sound electrical system in your home can prevent wiring issues that can become safety hazards. Maybe you live in an older home that hasn’t had updates since you moved in. If you have frayed wires, residential electrical work can check to see that everything is in compliance and not a threat to electrical fires. Dealing with the issue early on can prevent you from having your entire electrical system get blown out and needing replacement from start to finish.
4. Get Timely Roof Repairs
Roofing professionals recommend an annual inspection. However, if you live in an area with regular bad weather you may need to get your roof inspected after such devastating storms. Even if your roof appears to be in good condition, it may have some underlying problems from the impact of intense winds or moisture exposure that are not obvious to a homeowner.
A quality roofer knows what little problems to look for that can later develop into big ones. They can identify small cracks or understand how asphalt tiles falling off may be a big problem. When you call them for regular inspections and maintenance, they can also check the roof insulation and ventilation. After all, insulation helps you save money because it helps to prevent the loss of heat from the house. When people think of insulation, they often think of walls and floors. However, a good roofing contractor will let you know the insulation from your roof is just as vital to prevent air loss from your home. This protection from your roof also protects your HVAC unit. When there’s proper air insulation your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. Therefore your unit can last as long as possible. As a result, reducing heated or cooled air loss from your roof can save your family budget a lot of money.
A professional roofer can also save you money because their regular inspection and upkeep help your home stay within compliance of your roofing insurance. Your roofing insurance can become void if a situation happens that could have been prevented by timely repairs and upkeep. For example, what if you need roofing replacement because you let small repairs get out of hand? If that happens, your insurer could deny any payments towards your roof replacement which can result in your family budget having to spend several thousand dollars.
5. Take Care of Water Damage Right Away
Are you noticing dark spots on your walls and ceiling? The presence of those spots signifies a leak somewhere in those walls or above. That leak may be coming from a broken pipe or your roof. Leaks are one of the main culprits of water damage, so the first step you should take is staying on top of your roof repairs as mentioned above. Even if you have to go into the family budget and pay for a roof replacement up front, it can save you from paying more money to repair your foundation and the other damage from water. If you suspect leaks, quickly call your local plumber so they can do the necessary check-ups on your piping and fixtures.
Has your home recently had to deal with flood damage? Even if your basement or other area has tried out, that doesn’t mean that you’re out of the clear. According to Qipa, mold can begin to sprout in a wet environment in as little as 24 to 72 hours. So, if water was in your basement or another area of your property for a short amount of time, mold may already be growing and you may be unaware of it. Mold not only makes your home unhealthy, but it also affects the integrity of your foundation. A weakened foundation can affect the safety of you and your family. Living in a home where your walls or ceiling may cave in at any time is a major safety risk. If the damage gets to that point, it could affect whether you and your family have to leave the home for good and find a new place to live. Otherwise, expect to pay for a completely new foundation and drywall.
6. Go Solar
Are your family environmentally conscious? If so, having an eco-friendly household isn’t only good for the environment but also equally good for your family budget. If you decide to opt for solar energy, you can greatly reduce your electricity bills over time. Less reliance on the grid not only reduces your home energy bill but also gives you constant access to reliable energy. After all, the sun is always in the sky, whereas a power grid can always go down, especially during bad weather. If you or someone else works from home, having a reliable energy source helps ensure that your home business never loses connectivity or productivity. In other words, with solar energy, you don’t have to worry about power blackouts that may create downtime.
Your family will also save money at tax time. The federal government has many incentives by way of rebates and deductions, so people can benefit financially from solar energy. There are also benefits from various State programs you should look into. These governmental savings can help your family budget with the upfront costs of solar panels. Even after installation, you can continue to save, since solar panels can easily last as long as two decades with regular maintenance which is usually very minimal.
7. Plant a Garden
Quite often quality family time may include an outing to a beloved local restaurant. While eating out can be a good time for bonding and fun with the household, doing too much of it can really hurt your family budget. One way you can cut into your food costs is by planting a garden. A garden allows you to grow various amounts of fruit and vegetables depending on the climate you’re in. You can always harvest such produce at various seasons and preserve them for use later in the year. In addition to a regular garden, you can plant a tree or two that bears fruit like apples, pears, oranges, lemons, and nuts that help form a healthy diet. Planting a garden also helps your children learn about where their food comes from and can give them a healthy and financially beneficial life skill that they can take with them well into adulthood.
8. Check for Discounts
If you’ve never clipped coupons, now is a good time to start. However, you no longer just have to rely on paper coupons; there are many online codes available for your shopping purposes. You can also join discount clubs such as Costco Sam’s Club and other brands that give you a discount for buying in bulk. If you’re a veteran, you can get discounts on certain home renovations, healthcare, and other services. If you have students in college or have been diagnosed with a learning disability, they can also get discounts on certain services.
If you have a family you must take the time to be responsible with your family budget. After all, your family has needs from housing to clothing to food and so much more. By using the above practices, you’ll be able to save more money than you may have imagined in no time. Plus these are great lifestyle adjustments your kids can benefit from for many years.