5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

New Year’s resolutions. We make (and break) them every year. But this time it’s going to be different, right? Right! Because this year we’re taking those seemingly impossible to keep personal resolutions and applying them to our homes.

Based on some of the most common resolutions, we’ve put together a list of five ways you can improve your home – and your own wellbeing – for the new year.

1. Slim Down (Cut Energy Use)

Ever heard of the game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos”? Well, your home is essentially the same, gobbling up energy like a famished hippo. Take control of your home’s life by trimming energy use. A good place to start your home’s workout is the HVAC ductwork. Ducts are one of the top culprits for being energy guzzlers, leaking your heating and cooling air through holes and poor connections. According to Energy Star, sealing and insulating your ductwork can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20{b0691beea1c2f39bd1c58efe4ba0816740a602e2685bc83cc0a70ecfa3fcdf10}, saving you upwards of $200 a year. Another energy (and money) saver is installing a programmable thermostat like Nest. You can cut your home heating and cooling costs by 10-12{b0691beea1c2f39bd1c58efe4ba0816740a602e2685bc83cc0a70ecfa3fcdf10} on heating and 15{b0691beea1c2f39bd1c58efe4ba0816740a602e2685bc83cc0a70ecfa3fcdf10} on cooling…an average savings of $131 to $145 a year. And with Nest, the smart thermostat shows you how much energy you use every day so you can see when you use more energy and gauge how to use less.

2. Learn Something New (Tackle a DIY Project)

Not sure where to start? Sunset has over 150 DIY projects to help you dive into the DIY world. These easy and fun projects range from home decorating to upgrading your outdoor space to mastering artisanal foods. Here are a few of our favorites to try:

3. Drink Less (Reduce Your Home’s Water Usage)

The average household uses nearly 400 gallons of water every day, costing up to $700 a year in water and sewage costs. Making a few simple tweaks, like installing EPA-certified WaterSense products, could take off up to $200 from your yearly water bill. Another great way to save water is to go low-flow. Low flow shower heads reduce the amount of flow all while keeping the water pressure at a desired level. If your toilet was made in the mid-90s, it’s time to replace it. Low-flow toilets prevent about $90 worth of water expenses from literally being flushed down the toilet.

Other ways to reduce water usage:

  • Wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them
  • Water your yard less and put in drought-tolerant landscaping
  • Don’t pre-rinse your dishes. Many modern dishwashers do not require pre-rinsing of dishes – a good scrape should suffice.
  • Compost rather than running the garbage disposal
  • Wash vegetables and fruit in a bowl (not under the tap) and use the leftover water to water house plants

4. Save Money (Create a Healthy Budget for Improvements)

Creating a budget for inevitable home improvements or maintenance helps prevent overspending and encourages you to set aside money for major replacements that can occur. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household spends about $3,300 per year on home improvements or maintenance. The average cost of yearly maintenance totals about 1-3{b0691beea1c2f39bd1c58efe4ba0816740a602e2685bc83cc0a70ecfa3fcdf10} of the cost of your home. So, budgeting that amount at the beginning of the year will allow you to save money for future, more expensive upkeep and/or replacements.

5. Get in Shape (Kick Butt on Home Improvement Projects)

Need some exercise? There’s no better way to get fit and improve your home than DIY projects. Here are a few calorie burning activities that will improve your health and your home:

  • Caulking windows and doors – 280 calories/hour
  • Chopping firewood – 340 calories/hour
  • Cleaning rain gutters – 272 calories/hour
  • Finishing or refinishing furniture – 238 calories/hour
  • Painting, papering or plastering – 136 calories/hour

*Information is from CalorieLab. All calorie counts are estimates based on a 150-pound person, and will vary with intensity, body composition and weight.

By |2018-11-15T12:42:24-07:00December 31, 2015|

About the Author:

Gina Uriarte is an avid traveler and enjoys rock climbing, hiking, sporting events and live music. Gina has been in the marketing field for the real estate industry since 2005 and most enjoys the creative side of her craft. When not working or planning her next trip, Gina can be found sharing her musings on music, design and sports 140 characters at a time over on Twitter. Feel free to tweet her, as she is quick to respond.

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