When it comes to home improvement, typically the main motivation is to improve the property value. Homeowners remodel their kitchen, paint rooms in a new color, and add a deck to sell at a higher price. But projects aren’t only for the benefit of home buyers. Everyone in the family can gain from additions and upgrades around the house. This is especially true during the sweltering summers and chilly winters. When done right, they won’t just help the entire family feel more comfortable but also lower the utility bills.

Here are five home improvements to do to prep your home for extreme weather:

Keep Your Air Conditioner in Top Shape

Air conditioners are powerful equipment that could lower the temperature even in the middle of a hot summer day. They’re so efficient that it’s easy to forget that they need to be maintained as well. Otherwise, it won’t work as well. You’ll end up adjusting the temperature to feel comfortable and consume more power. It’s not only inefficient but also damaging. This is why it’s important to have your air duct cleaned regularly and properly.

The best way is by hiring a professional service. They already know how to work with different systems so there isn’t a lot of risk of breaking the product unlike if you do it on your own. Just by cleaning, you can ensure that your appliance will work better and lower your electricity bills.

Besides the air duct, it’s also crucial to replace or wipe the filters. These are arguable the filthiest part of the entire system since it traps the dust and dirt in the air. If you forget to maintain the filter, it can also lead to higher bills and a shorter life service life of the product. The common advice is to clean the filters every three months but it’s best to follow what the manual says.

modern home

Upgrade Your Thermostat

No matter where you live, the weather can always be unpredictable. Every year, there seems to be a record-breaking summer due to incredibly high temperatures. Even winter isn’t safe from the shift in conditions. Figures show that the most recent winter was the second warmest on record for the entire world. For context, temperature records date back to 1880.

Thanks to technology, there’s a way you can regulate the conditions at home no matter the season. A thermostat allows you to heat up or cool down the entire house with a press of a button. But if you’re interested in something with more control, you should get a programmable one. Unlike regular thermostats, these can automatically change the temperature according to the time. You can set it up once and it can remember your preferences.

This way, even if you forget to change the settings, you don’t have to pay the price when you get your energy bill. Figures show that space cooling and heating are the two biggest consumers in households’ electricity usage. This equates to around $900 in energy bills every year. While a smart thermostat can set you back around $100, you’ll still end up saving money in the long run.

Install Storm Windows

Windows are some of the most important parts of a house. They let in natural light, and they can help regulate the temperature inside. Good working windows can not only make people inside feel more comfortable but also help reduce energy bills. The problem is they can be expensive to replace. Depending on the number of windows, the materials used, and labor costs, it can cost thousands of dollars.

The great news is there’s a good alternative that can protect your home at a low price. You don’t even have to spend money on labor fees. You can install storm windows by yourself. They aren’t full-on replacements. Instead, they’re add-ons that you can install on the interior or exterior. They add protection from hail and debris in case of inclement weather. Plus, there are varieties that are fit for warm and cold areas so you can reduce energy consumption no matter where you live. Before you buy a storm window, make sure to consider the type. The Department of Energy recommends storm windows with Low-E coatings. They’re fit for all seasons because they can reflect heat in and out.

The downside to storm windows is they can’t be opened once they’re installed. If you have a change in mind, you’ll have to remove the storm windows entirely.

One of the best things about owning your own home is you can customize it according to your needs. When done right, you can reduce your expenses and increase your level of comfort.