Home Improvement Tips and "Dadvice" That Will Save You Money

Ashley Dennis | 08 Jun 2020 | Energy Saving

From dad jokes to dad-isms, we like to poke fun at our dear old dads. But our father figures often have the best advice, even if we're not always listening. This father's day we're paying tribute to pops with some of the best home improvement and maintenance "dadvice" that will help save you money.

Maintenance:

Check And Change Your Filters

Prevent costly breakdowns or repairs by keeping up with regular maintenance on your home's air system. Your air filters should be swapped out every 3 months. If you have particularly hairy pets or if pollen counts are high in your area, your filters might need to be changed more often. Skipping this step could allow dust and other particles to get into your AC unit which can reduce your unit's lifespan. A $10 filter now could save you $1000 down the road.

A man pulls a dirty air filter out of an air conditioning unit.

Fix Water Leaks And Drips

Fix leaky faucets and running toilets right away. Don't wait. A simple dripping faucet can waste 5 gallons of water per day. A running toilet might not sound like just a minor annoyance but it can add $100s to your water bill every year. Most gaskets, valves and seals for sinks or toilets are super affordable. All it takes is a little research (hello, youtube!) and some elbow grease to replace them.

One of our favorite youtube resources is "Dad, How Do I?". Equally helpful and wholesome, we love this Dad's story!

Check Ceiling Fan Settings

Did you know ceiling fans can often spin in both directions? If your fan blades are spinning in the wrong direction you could be spending more on your heating and cooling costs. Generally, fan blades should turn clockwise in the winter to push warm air down and counterclockwise during the summer to circulate the cool air. Turn off your ceiling fan and look for a switch near the base of your ceiling fan to switch your fan's direction.

close up of a ceiling fan's motor housing showing where a direction switch may be located.

Windows:

Windows contribute the most to your home's energy loss. So it's definitely worth spending your time making them more energy efficient.

Check For Leaks

Check your window and door weatherstripping for water or temperature leaks. If you can see daylight coming through any seams, you have a leak that's raising your heating and cooling bills. Rolls of insulating and self-adhesive rubber or foam can be found at your local hardware store for just a few bucks. These strips can be placed over or inside of gaps to limit leakage.

 Man in blue overalls installs foam weather stripping within a window frame.

You can also check for any breeze coming through window cracks by turning off the AC and all indoor fans or exhausts and lighting a candle near the window to see if it flickers. If it flickers, it's a sign you might have a leak. Be careful with this candle method and make sure any window treatments and fabrics are secured out of the way.

Window Treatments

Adding window treatments, like cellular shades and shutters, are a super easy way to upgrade your window's energy efficiency without sacrificing aesthetics. Cellular shades have honeycomb shaped pockets that trap air and reduce heat transfer (similar to covering your windows in plastic wrap, but prettier). Some customers have said cellular shades lowered the temperature in sunny rooms by ten degrees! Plus they come in tons of colors and are super affordable.

modern bedroom with a beige blackout cellular shade partially lowered in the window.

Pictured: Blinds.com Blackout Cellular Shade in Tamarind.

Shutters help insulate by enclosing the window in a frame. Faux wood shutters are the most insulating as the louvers (slats) are often hollow and create an air pocket similar to cellular shades. Wood shutters are also insulating due to the tiny pockets within wood's cellular structure, though not as much as faux wood shutters.

While shutters can be a little pricey up front, they are super long-lasting. They are the only window treatment that can add to your home's value which is great for your wallet in the long run.

bright laundry room with white and gold hexagon wallpaper and a white shutter in the window.

Pictured: Blinds.com Simplicity Wood Shutter in Bright White.

Outdoors:

Don't neglect your yard! There are a few important things you should consider outside your home that can save you money too.

Conserve Water

In the yard, choose plants that are native to your area. They'll be lower maintenance and require much less water. Your local garden center should be able to offer you some guidance if you need help choosing the right plants for your area. But you can also search what planting zone you are in and look for plants that will thrive in those conditions.

exterior of colonial style home with paved walkway and a garden bed with various plants.

Did you know there are different types of grass for your lawn? St. Augustine, Bluegrass, Fescue, Bermuda... The list goes on! Reseeding a grass lawn can be expensive if not done right. Some grass varieties are better suited for hot and dry climates while some are more cold-hardy. So if you're looking to patch up or replace a lawn, research which grass species are best for your climate before buying sod or seeds.

Made In The Shade

Having shade in the yard or over the house can help keep your home cool in the warmer months. If planting and maintaining a large tree or two isn't feasible, consider installing outdoor shades. These can be put over windows, porches, sunrooms and patios and help cut down on heat and sun glare while maintaining your view. They are built for durability and are designed to stand up against the elements.

Note: Solar and outdoor shades only protect against heat from the sun. They don't insulate against the cold.

Covered patio with wicker chairs and sofa with white cushions. Dark brown solar shades are partially lowered over the entryways.

Pictured: Coolaroo Outdoor Solar Shade in Sydney 5% Bronze.

Have Questions?

Our dads can't be expected to know everything. So when in doubt on your window project, give our expert Design Consultants a call. They can answer all your window treatment questions. Plus their help is totally free, and that's something dad would approve of! Give us a call: 844-551-3769.

Read More:

Blinds vs Shades: How To Make The Right Choice For Your Home

11 Window Measuring Mistakes + How To Avoid Them

6 Tips To Protect Your Window Blinds From Condensation

How To Clean (Even The Grimiest) Faux Wood Blinds

  • About Author

    Ashley is the Blinds.com Junior Social Media Specialist. A weekend-warrior, she and her husband spend their time fixing up their townhome together. She is an Illustrator and has converted her dining room into a tiny studio where she hangs out with her two assistant-cats: Blue & Chai. Sci-fi books, video games and hula hooping are also her jam. Follow her on Instagram @Adenn.fox.