Changes to Make to Your Home in the New Year
Ah, the New Year! A time when everyone decides to make changes in their lives for the better. Most often, we decide to adopt new fitness habits, new outlooks on life, and new diet trends. While those are all great paths to take to start your year off on the right foot, what if you considered making some new changes to your home as well?
Even some of the simplest changes can help make your home more comfortable, energy-efficient, and beautiful.
Switch to LED Bulbs
Take a look at all the lamps and other lighting fixtures around your home. Are they all using traditional halogen light bulbs? Not good! These bulbs use a lot of energy, meaning they not only run up your energy bill, but they also burn out faster — which forces you to spend more money replacing them more often.
Make the switch to LED bulbs. They use a fraction of the energy and last ages longer. Since they use less energy, you can save on your energy bills and be a better friend to the environment.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
When you purchased your home, did you keep the existing central HVAC system? If so, do you know how old it is? If it’s pushing 15 years old, you should seriously consider replacing it. Older systems tend to be very inefficient and usually require a lot more repairs — and both of those factors cost you more money.
You should also consider upgrading your system if you made any changes to the size or layout of your home. When an HVAC system is first installed, it’s outfitted to meet the individual comfort needs of your home. So if you’ve added an extension to your home or, on the contrary, downsized your home, you should upgrade your HVAC system to accommodate those changes and perform at maximum efficiency.
Update Your Bathroom
Do you have an extra bathroom in your home that you never use because the shower grout is dirty or the sink faucet doesn’t work? Or maybe your bathroom is simply outdated with old (and potentially unsightly) fixtures. Make some changes in the New Year!
Start by replacing your showerheads and faucets with low-flow fixtures. These reduce the amount of water you use per minute, which helps cut down on your utility bills.
Next, move onto your toilet. Have the ring seal on your toilet replaced to prevent any leaks and replace your current flushing mechanisms with a dual system. A dual system allows you to change the amount of water used with each flush, depending on what you’re flushing.
You can also swap out your tub for a stand-in shower. Stand-in showers add a more modern look to your bathroom and can provide you with more storage depending on the model you choose.
Lastly, take some preventative measures and add hair traps to your showers and sink. Most clogs are caused by balled-up hair meshing with soap scum in your drains, so take advantage of these inexpensive gadgets to keep hair out of your drain.
Upgrade Your Water Heater
How many times has your morning routine been slowed down because you’re waiting 10 minutes for the water in your shower to heat up? This is, unfortunately, a common trend we see among many homeowners. And typically, it has to do with your water heater. In order to have enough hot water, when you need it, your water heater needs to be the right size and model for your home’s needs.
Maybe you moved into your home and kept the tankless water heater that was already there. While tankless water heaters may be fine for smaller families, they aren’t always ideal for larger families or those who have a higher demand for hot water on the spot.
Maybe you have a tank-based unit, but it’s old and hasn’t been maintained too well. Old water heaters are inefficient and only leave you with high utility bills and low amounts of hot water. You’re better off replacing it with a newer model.
Add a Water Softener
If your home’s water supply comes from a well system, it likely contains a number of different minerals and sediments that can harm you, your appliances, and your overall water quality.
If there are white calcium spots on your plumbing fixtures and your dishes and a scratchy feeling to your towels and clothes after you wash them, you likely have hard water. Besides all those problems, hard water can also cause clogs in your plumbing system, put more wear and tear on your appliances, and even corrode your pipes from the inside out.
The easiest way to combat this is by adding a water softener to your home that removes the sediments from the water before it enters your plumbing system.
Add a Water Filter
Maybe your water doesn’t have an excess of calcium in it, but it smells like rotten eggs instead. That’s typically due to a presence of sulfur in your water supply. While it’s technically safe to drink, the smell can really put you off from drinking or using the water.
Another common water issue is the presence of iron. Whether it comes from the water supply itself or the insides of corroded old pipes, the iron particles can leave unsightly red rust stains in your sinks, toilets, and showers.
Depending on your issue, different kinds of water filtration systems can be used to get your water perfectly clean and safe.
Replace Your Thermostat
If you’re interested in lowering your utility bills, you shouldn’t have just any old thermostat. Switch your old, basic one for a programmable model. These allow you to set certain temperatures on a schedule of when you want you your HVAC system to cycle on, preventing it from doing so when no one is home.
If you really want to combine efficiency and convenience, opt for a Nest smart thermostat. These connect to your smart device and can be controlled at the touch of a button from wherever you are. Did you forget to set your thermostat to vacation mode before you jetted off? Just set it from your phone!
From Kent County to Northampton to Baltimore County and beyond, we proudly serve a large range of local homeowners with comprehensive A/C, heating, and plumbing services. Give the experts at Horizon a call today!