Projects To Do Around Your Home in 2022 Part 2
Beat the Heat with Summer Projects: Upgrade & Go Green
Summer is peak season for home projects. The weather is optimal, you have more access to free time and you’re eager to enjoy your home in different ways. While many homeowners choose to focus on their big renovation projects at this time of year, it can be difficult to secure contractors and building materials can be pricier, making it a perfect time, instead, to focus on ways to cut your budget and upgrade your home to Smart Technology and eco-friendly options. You can even take advantage of big sale weekends, such as 4th of July. Here are some great summer projects you might choose to focus on this year:
Indoor Summer Projects
- Smart Appliances: Running a household can be a lot of work, but smart technology has made it exponentially easier. Investing in these items can save you a lot of time and energy down the line and they can also save you money as they rely on much less electricity than outdated appliances. Smart refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, washers, dryers, and more can make your summer feel easier than ever.
- Energy Efficient Lighting: Installing LED lights throughout your house can have a myriad of benefits. For one thing, they last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. They also save on energy, emit no heat or UV rays and operate at much lower voltage than other bulbs. Making the switch to LED is cheap, easy and has long-lasting benefits.
- Smart Thermostat: Avoid running up your air conditioning bill all summer long by investing in a smart thermostat. They boast a savings of up to 50% on home energy use and start at an extremely reasonable price point of around $100.
- Smart Locks: Summer is a time to travel, so won’t it make you feel more safer knowing that you have the ability to control your home’s security from the road? Not only do these devices allow you to see who’s at your door (when paired with smart cameras), but they also allow you to interact with them from your phone or mobile device.
- Door & Window Sensors: It can be very frustrating to realize you’ve been running your air conditioning with a door or window cracked! Smart sensors will alert you when a window or door is opened so that you always know that you’re making the most efficient decisions for your home and your wallet.
- Smart Blinds: Another great way to beat the heat this summer is to invest in smart blinds, designed to absorb some of the sunshine streaming into your home and prevent it from turning your space into a furnace! They are reasonably priced and easy to install.
- Tankless Water Heater: While the initial investment on these items can be hefty (between $2,500 and $5,000 depending on your home size), there is almost an immediate ROI. Tankless water heaters have been known to cut energy bills from 20-50%!!
- Low-Flow Showerheads: You can also reduce your water consumption by about 50% by using low-flow showerheads (which reduces flow to about 2.5 gallons per minute from an average of 5.5 gallons!).
Outdoor Summer Projects
- Energy Efficient Exterior Doors: Another great way to upgrade your home is to replace your old exterior doors with Energy Star certified replacements. Doing so can save you up to 10% in heating and cooling costs. New doors create greater insulation by using better materials and fitting more tightly with new weather stripping.
- Solar Panels: One more great way to go green this summer is to install solar paneling on your roof. Solar panels convert energy from the sun into a usable resource that can effectively power your whole home. While it can be a costly undertaking initially, the long-term benefits are huge. Not only will you benefit from extremely reduced (and sometimes eliminated) electricity bills, but you are also having a long-lasting impact on the environment.
- Recaulk Windows and Doors: Something as simple as recaulking your windows and doors can also be a highly effective way to cut costs and reduce your carbon footprint. This costs nearly nothing to do and a quick tutorial video is usually enough to get you started.
- Replace Windows: If you know that there are windows in your home that are severely damaged (from wood rot, to cracks in the glass, and more), it might be time to consider replacing windows throughout your home.
- Repurpose & Reuse: You can also make a huge environmental impact by upcycling. Places like Habitat for Humanity have amazing storefronts full of quality home materials that they’ve taken off of previous job sites and refurbished. Why buy new when you can make use of an already existing product?
Fall into the Cooler Weather: Finish Up Miscellaneous Projects
Finally, as the year draws to a close, the opportunity arises to finish up any miscellaneous projects that may have been neglected throughout the year. Your house has been renovated, organized and upgraded, so these last minute items will do just the trick to keep your home running efficiently throughout the long winter ahead of you. Tying up loose ends also paves the way for a fresh start in the year ahead so that you can follow this list all over again, maintaining a sense or order and checking off all of the to-do boxes without the extra stress and hassle. What can you start with in the fall? Let’s take a look!
Indoor Fall Projects
- Switch Your Ceiling Fans: This is a really simple thing that should be done twice a year to keep your home running more energy efficiently. Turning fans clockwise during the cooler winter months pushes warm air down into your home and reversing it during cooler months sucks the warm air upward.
- Clean Carpets: Carpets tend to be dirtier after the summer months when traffic is high (and lots of bare feet might be tracking through the yard and in through your home). Fall is a wonderful time to give your carpets a deep clean that can last throughout the winter.
- Recaulk Bath Tubs & Showers: Colder days and nights often mean longer showers and baths, so now is the perfect time to ensure that your tubs and showers are ready for the extra use. Peeling out old caulking and replacing it with new is a simple job that can give your bathroom a fresh, new look.
- Lubricate Sticking Locks: Treating your locks with powdered graphite (as opposed to liquid lubrication which can get stuck inside the lock) can keep your locks in tip top shape throughout the winter.
- Wash Your Dryer Filter: Wet, wintry clothes means that your dryer is likely to get a bit of extra use, as well, during the colder months. Make sure it’s ready to handle the inflated workload by cleaning out your filter. You can test your filter by pouring water into it. If the water holds, it’s definitely in need of a cleaning. You can do so with a little warm water and a stiff brush.
- Prep Your Fireplace: Before you use your fireplace, it’s also a great idea to check it out and make sure it’s ready. Clean out your wood fireplace, thoroughly check the chimney for obstructions and/or critters and stock up your wood pile. You may also choose to hire somebody to give your fireplace an annual inspection.
Outdoor Fall Projects
- Clean Out Gutters: With falling leaves and melting snow, your gutters work overtime during the colder months. Giving them an intensive cleaning will help to prevent overflowing which can cause much more serious leaks and roof damage.
- Roof & Shingle Repairs: While you’re checking out your gutters, be sure to give some extra attention to your roof. Check for broken shingles, leaks, damp spots or any areas that appear compromised. Making necessary repairs now can help you to avoid costly damage later.
- Spread Mulch: Adding mulch to your gardens before the start of winter can help to protect your perennial flowers and plants from frost (and any animals that might get a bit curious).
- Clean & Cover Your Grill: Oftentimes, the colder months also signal the time when we move cookouts from the back yard back into the kitchen. Make sure that your grill is scrubbed clean of debris, that the gas is turned off and that it is covered and stored in a place that will keep it protected from pests and harsher weather.
- Trim Bushes & Trees: Prepare for potential winter storms by trimming all of the trees and bushes on your property that could use it. Particularly, trim branches back from your roof and remove any limbs that appear weak or dead.
- Power Wash Hard Surfaces: Lastly, scrub away any residue left on your hard surfaces (driveways, sidewalks, siding, patios, walkways, and pool decks) from the sticky heat of summer. Whether you hire a pressure washer or you do the job yourself, it is a simple way to give your home a clean slate so that slight mildew doesn’t progress into serious mold under the weight of the wet winter weather.
The Bottom Line
Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility, but creating a plan for yourself is a wonderful way to alleviate some of the stress that may accompany being a homeowner by providing you with a framework that you can follow year after year. Tackling specific projects little by little throughout the year will help you to avoid overwhelm and will keep your home safe, clean, decluttered and modernized throughout the changing seasons. You can always add or subtract from this list as you see fit, but having a starting point is often the hardest part! Happy home-owning to you this coming New Year!