A Little Homework Can Go a Long Way this Season

18 DECEMBER 2023

A tough work year has ended and with that it’s time to put the feet up, open a cold drink and let the stress slip away. Before you get too comfortable though, a little work can go a long way if you give your home a little attention.

Whether you are aiming to sell your home in 2024, or want to find natural ways to save your budget a little, there are home improvements at your fingertips that can have a big impact on your monthly costs, and the value of your home.

Often, home improvements are done when they have to be, largely because something has broken or deterioration is visible. However, this often results in a higher cost to fix the problem – a problem that could have been avoided with regular maintenance.

A first step could be a lick of paint. Not only will this upkeep the appearance of your home, but it can also help you deal with minor issues, like cracks or leaks, that can become bigger problems down the line. Of course, this is not work that will save you money, it will come at a cost, but if kept in check, it will save you down the line.

It’s also important to give your home a proper inspection once a year. Look at things like lightbulbs, inspecting how many are working and if the bulbs are uniform. Often once a lightbulb expires, we tend to either leave it alone or replace it with whatever bulb we can find when we remember. However, choosing uniform LED bulbs can have a big impact on your daily energy costs.

An upgrade to consider at present is a switch to a solar geyser. Whether you take on this project with a Builder’s store card, or even an RCS online loan, a solar geyser can be a game changer. This item is one of your biggest electricity guzzlers, and switching to solar can save you a small fortune. Unless you have the relevant experience, it would be crucial to get professional assistance for the installation. However, with loadshedding still being a problem, and rising Eskom bills being the current norm, a solar geyser ensures that you are using as little electricity as possible to keep water warm in your home.

Sticking to this theme, it could be time for you to switch out your electric stove for a gas oven and hob. Although gas is still a cost, and you may opt for a gas hob with an electric burner, these items are growing in popularity once again. Loadshedding will never get in the way of cooking, allowing you to save on takeaway costs, while gas will often come in at a cheaper rate than electricity, especially if you use your stove a lot.

Fitting a comprehensive solar system into your home will be a huge money saver but the initial setup costs are substantial. A simple solar inverter will help during loadshedding but a complete solar setup essentially allows your home to run on batteries powered by the sun for large parts of the day, only switching in your paid electricity for short periods to allow for charging. This expensive outlay will pay itself back over months and years to come.

Water is another area that you can save on with a little bit of maintenance. Consider a Jojo tank to collect rainwater, as this will allow you to water your garden, wash the car or take on other outdoor tasks without impacting your water bill. You could also look at products like water purifiers to ease costs on having to constantly buy bottled water. Plumbing upgrades can also make a difference here, replacing old, worn shower heads with newer, eco-friendly products can result in less water consumption without impacting your shower experience, and is even proven to be better for your skin and hair because of the elimination of harmful chemicals.