Now that summer is fully upon us here in beautiful Sarasota, the heating is on, and, radiating right into our homes. Fortunately, there’s always the beach, the pool, and other places where we can cool off a bit. Taking a dip to refresh is one great way to enjoy the outdoors, and, of course, there’s always plenty of enjoyment to be had boating on the water.
What gives the Sunshine State its name also collides with our homes, forming a bit of a paradox. While we certainly welcome the many days of sunshine, we don’t like what it does to zap our strength, and more particularly, what it does to up utility costs. When the heat is on, so are cooling systems, but, there are ways to mitigate those related costs. With the advent of some home improvements, you can equip your property to make summer more bearable.
Even better news is that many are do-it-yourself improvements that don’t take a lot of time and moreover, don’t cost a whole lot. Just over the course of a couple or few weekends, your home can be made much more comfortable, and, reduce the amount of money that you’re spending on keeping your home cool.
GOOD VS BAD HOME IMPROVEMENT ROI
What you ought to know is there are good and bad home improvements. Even those which do “improve” your home, either through function or aesthetics, or both, just don’t bring much return on investment. That being said, the majority of all common home improvements do bring at least some ROI, but there are those which just perform poorly relative to others. For instance, installing a new steel front door is one of the single biggest improvements you can make, bring an impressive return of 98 percent. By contrast, an office remodel, returns only 48 percent, which certainly isn’t worth the money, that is, unless you don’t plan to sell your home.
“While sometimes the winter blues can make a person want to make home improvements, in many cases, summer is the best time for such projects. While summertime is when attention moves outdoors, that doesn’t mean all summer home improvements need to be relegated to the patio.” —AOL Real Estate
Other good return-on-investment home improvements are wood decks, minor kitchen and bath remodels, and, window replacement–ranging from 87 percent to 79 percent. Among the worst performers are sunroom additions, master suite additions, garage and bathroom additions–all bring back between 63 percent to 48 percent. Simply put, it’s upgrades and updates that actually serve both style and function that really make them worthwhile in contrast to those that are self-serving rather than having a broad appeal.
BEST SUMMER HOME IMPROVEMENTS
Since the heat will be radiating for many months to come and will return again in future years, you can find a bit of comfort with certain inexpensive upgrades and fixes. To get the most out of money and to help reduce your utility costs, you can use the following summer home improvements:
- Window replacement. If you’ve not upgraded your windows in many years, it’s a great time to do so now. Double pane, low-E windows not only reduce the amount of heat that enters through the panes, but also, looks great. What’s more, you can typically find buyer incentives for these and you’ll definitely notice the comfort these provide.
- Window film. You don’t have to stop at upgrading your windows, you can also install window film to reduce heat transfer. This also makes an inexpensive alternative to buying and installing new windows, but won’t have the same impact as doubling-up on upgrading and film covering.
- Caulking. Caulking can be found around all the windows in your home, and, in other places, such as the bathroom. It’s there for a very specific purpose, but isn’t impervious to time, temperature, or moisture. It will wear and crack, eventually peeling away, so, redoing caulking will be another way to increase energy efficiency.
- Weatherstripping. Every door in your home that leads to the outside will be equipped with weatherstripping. This not only does the job of its namesake, but also, helps to prevent pests from entering and nesting in your home. Like caulking, it is susceptible to temperature, moisture, and time.
- Air conditioning. While you don’t necessarily have to replace your air conditioner, it’s a good idea to get it tuned-up to allow it to run with the most efficiency during the summer months. Cleaning the coils, oiling up the moving parts, measuring coolant, and changing out the filter are all good ways to improve cooling efficiency.
- Ceiling fans. While ceiling fans don’t actually cool rooms, they do help to circulate air. What’s more, they assist your air conditioner in making every space in your home cooler and more comfortable.
If you are able, you can also plant trees strategically to provide more shade, reducing the amount of heat transfer that comes into your home.