• Awesome Ways to Save Money as a Homeowner

    As all homeowners know, owning your own home is no cheap task. There are multiple bills that have to be taken care of, such as the mortgage, landscaping, utility, and trash bills. However, there are multiple ways to save on these bills, and the following list of tips to save money on your energy bills will help to greatly reduce the cost of owning your own home. This list of free and simple improvements to make around your home are incredibly easy and will be saving you money in no time.

    energy saving home


    1. Automate your thermostat, or use a Post-It note for a reminder.

    During the summer, you can set your thermostat to as high of a temperature as you are comfortable with, and during the winter, you can set it as low as you feel comfortable with. By doing these two simple, easy things consistently, you can save hundreds on energy bills throughout the whole year. You can also buy automatic thermostats, which can learn your routine and automatically set the temperature to be more comfortable while you are home and less comfortable when you are away. The most widely recommended automatic thermostat is a Nest thermostat.

    1. Give your air conditioning unit some air.

    Oftentimes, outdoor air conditioning units are surrounded by smothering bushes or other shrubs. By simply making sure to keep these trimmed and giving your A/C unit a one foot clearance on all sides, you can significantly reduce the energy usage of your air conditioning unit. Also, pay special attention to the cleanliness of your air conditioner. Make sure to keep all filters clear of debris and dirt.

    cleaning air conditioners

    1. Block out the sun.

    By simply closing the blinds and curtains in your home during the hot summer days, you can reduce the need to air conditioning. Many people underestimate the heating capability of the sun even through windows, but it can still heat rooms significantly. By blocking it out using special curtains, you can save on your energy bills by decreasing the need for air conditioning.

    1. Use fans.

    Many people underestimate the usefulness of a common fan, but it has been reported that they can make a room feel up to seven degrees cooler, which is an incredibly significant amount, especially during the dog days of summer. They can also help to circulate the air better, which can reduce the need for your air conditioner or heating unit to constantly have to be working.

    1. Take shorter, cooler showers.

    For those who take long, steaming showers, the steam from the showers greatly adds to the overall heat in your home, which, during the hot summer days, means that your air conditioning has to work harder to keep your home cool. By simply taking shorter or cooler showers (or both), you can save several dollars each month. You could even buy a budget faucet for your shower to help make showers even cheaper.

    save water when showering

    1. Change your HVAC filters.

    By changing your HVAC unit’s filters twice a year — or even up to four times a year — you can greatly increase your machine’s efficiency, and thus decrease the amount of money you have to spend on energy to power it.

    1. Hang your clothes to dry.

    This handy trick is as old as time, but it kills two energy suckers with one stone. It not only completely erases the need to spend money on dryer energy, but it also means that your dryer will not be releasing unnecessary heat into your home, which in turn means that you air conditioning unit has to work harder to cool your home.

My Picks for the Best Inexpensive Kitchen Faucets

Updating your kitchen faucet can be a relatively inexpensive way to spruce up one of the busiest rooms in the house.  The right kitchen faucet can look great, save water, and even make things a little more convenient.  As with most home improvement projects, you’ll want to keep your budget in mind as you shop.  Not surprisingly, there are models that run well into the hundreds, but with quality models available for under $100, even those working with a tight budget can find a great new faucet to give the kitchen an easy makeover.

When shopping for a new faucet, make sure you know what your current plumbing setup is.  Finding a new faucet that requires more connections than your current one could represent an expense (and time delay) that we’d all rather avoid.  Finding one that requires fewer connections means capping off or redirecting extra lines, which will also cost a few bucks if you can’t do it yourself, in addition to having to find a way to seamlessly plug up any extra holes in the countertop.

If you happen to live in an area where water conservation is necessary or if you’re simply trying to be more environmentally friendly or lower your water bill a little, be sure to look for the most water efficient model you can find.  Generally, the most water efficient models rely on some form of aeration to help save water.  This means it will take a bit longer to fill a sink, but you won’t notice a difference when it comes to washing hands or rinsing dishes.

Faucets with long necks, also called high arcs, have gotten increasingly popular recently.  Not only can they add an elegant look to your sink, but they can also offer added convenience.  A longer neck can make a shallower sink seem deeper and make it easier to fill large pots.  Faucets with longer necks can also be great for use with a faucet-mounted filter.  Since most such filters are several inches long, having the extra height can help keep your filter from getting banged around too much.  Just make sure you look for a faucet that will work with your existing filter without any problems.

When it comes to newer features available on faucets, hands-free and touch-free models are increasingly popular and not quite as expensive as they once were.  Hands-free faucets allow you to use your wrist or forearm to turn the water on and off.  This can be great because it means you can wash your hands without getting the very dirt and germs you’re trying to remove all over the faucet handles.  Completely touch-free versions rely on motion sensors to turn the water on and off.  These are also great for helping stop the spread of germs and can be great for homes with kids who aren’t quite tall enough to reach the handles themselves.  Visit kitchenfaucets.reviews on twitter to get to reviews, including pros and cons, of several top-rated kitchen faucet models at different price points.

Once upon a time, most homeowners were limited to a small handful of basic faucet models unless they were willing to shell out megabucks.  Today, though, there are faucets available in a seemingly endless array of colors and finishes, ensuring that you should have no problem finding a model that fits your needs and your decor at any budget level.

If you’re also considering a bathroom update or renovation, you’ll find that there are bathroom faucets available that mirror their kitchen counterparts described above.  Hands-free and touchless models are a major convenience in the bathroom when it comes to stopping the spread of germs.  These models also make cleaning the bathroom a little easier since there’s less of a need to clean faucet handles.  Check out top rated kitchen faucet brands for reviews of several kitchen and bath models of various types here: http://kitchenfaucets.reviews/top-rated-best-high-end-brands.
If you have hard water, look for models that resist water staining to help keep your faucet looking newer, longer.  Whatever type of faucet you choose, be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations on cleaning products that are safe and most effective for your chosen finish.

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