Contributed by Rachel Rieger
You know it’s important to set aside some savings for emergency home repairs, but it’s equally as important to spend money now to prevent what can turn into future disasters. So, don’t put it off for a rainy day (that is when you’re most likely to get a flooded basement, after all!). Invest in these five products for your home to get ahead of the game!
At some point or another, most homeowners find themselves scratching their heads trying to figure out why their energy bill is so high each month. They’ve tried every technique in the book – like sealing windows and doors to eliminate drafts, insulating their house, using LED lights, moving their thermostat out of direct sunlight, and unplugging small appliances when they’re not using them – to no avail. There’s an easier, more reliable way to minimize energy costs – installing a programmable thermostat.
This type of thermostat can play a huge role in conserving energy in the home. With functions like being able to program your desired temperatures up to seven days in advance, automatic adjustments when electric prices are higher, displayed reminders to change your air filters, and the ability to remotely regulate the temperature using your smart phone, there really is no better way to save money in the long run. If you really want to splurge, you could spring for a thermostat that also adjusts other systems in your home like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air filtration.
Some of these thermostats are DIY-able, but others may require a professional to come out and install for you. Whichever option you choose, it is important to become familiar with the system so that you can customize your settings for maximum savings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save 10 percent a year on your energy bills just by using a programmable thermostat.
Damp and moldy basements can cause a whole host of problems for homeowners – from health issues to a weakened foundation and many other headaches along the way. Many people associate these basements with older homes, but even new homes with finished basements aren’t immune to water seeping in. And, once it starts, water leaks and mold are extremely difficult to get rid of.
Before it becomes a problem, get some masonry waterproofer from your local home improvement store, and coat your basement walls. This sealant will help to keep the water out and protect any assets that may be stored in the basement. HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost of repairing water damage to your home is about $2,100. The old saying has never rung more true – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Speaking of cure, most homeowners dread the headache of cleaning out clogged gutters year in and year out. But cleaning your gutters is only a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Installing gutter protection is a permanent solution.
With gutter protection, you’re not just eliminating clogs, but a whole range of other problems. You’re preventing pest infestations, foundation problems, leaky roofs, and much more. By preventing so many problems, the cost benefits of installing gutter protection really are endless.
But, be aware that some types of gutter protection products are installed by inserting under the first layer of shingles on your roof. This will limit or void your roof warranty, which could cost you even more in the future. Look for a product that is installed directly on your gutters, like LeafFilter, so that you can reap the benefits of gutter protection while leaving your roof intact.
Every area has its own brand of extreme weather. Whether you live in tornado alley, a snow belt, a coastal hurricane region, or anywhere with a risk of power outage, it’s a good idea to invest in a generator for your home. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use a generator, but having one handy can potentially save you hundreds – if not, thousands – of dollars during a power outage.
If the worst case scenario happens and your power gets knocked out for several hours or days, a portable generator will be able to keep food in the refrigerator cold, allow you to continue to work on your laptop (which inevitably will have a low battery when the power goes out), or let you heat up a quick meal. More powerful generators may even let you keep the heat or central air running. You’ll gain even more benefits from your generator if you live with very young or elderly family members that can’t handle extreme heat or cold, or need special medical attention. By investing in a generator now, you’ll never get caught off guard in an emergency.
Home Security System
Do you think that you’re not at risk for a home burglary? Think again. The statistics are grim. Every year, millions of homes are broken into. These burglaries often result in devastating losses – from run-of-the-mill household objects, to priceless heirlooms, and even life itself. Are you willing to take the chance that your house won’t get broken into?
If you’re not comfortable with taking this gamble, your safest bet it to install a home security system, like LifeShield. Simply advertising that your home is secured frequently deters potential burglars from ever entering your home. But if you do experience a break-in, you’ll never have to wonder whether help is coming, even if the power is cut, and your phone and Internet go down.
Emergencies usually cause people to panic, which can end up worsening the situation. Prepare for disaster now by investing in these five products so that you can effectively protect your home – and, more importantly, yourself – in the worst case scenario.
Have you made other preventative investments in your home? Tell us about them in the comments!
Rachel Rieger is the Community Manager at LeafFilter North, Inc. They provide gutter protection perfection to home owners across the United States.