3 Things You Should Have in Your Home Before This Year Ends


While you've still got time left in the year, it's a great time to plan some projects to upgrade your home. That way, you can budget correctly to ensure the projects actually happen, rather than just remaining as a plan or a dream. With all the different options available for upgrading your home, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are three good options for fun and functional upgrades to your home that will be well worth your money.

Practical: Upgraded HVAC System

While a new furnace and air conditioner might not be the most fun way to spend your hard-earned money, an investment in these necessary appliances now will ensure you're able to save money for more entertaining upgrades later. When it comes to a new furnace, look for one that is as efficient as possible in terms of it's combustion percentage. That is, a higher percentage indicates that more gas is consumed for the production of heat instead of being vented out of your home and wasted. More efficient furnaces will run less while keeping your home even more comfortable.

For a new A/C unit, make sure you purchase the appropriately sized compressor for optimum cooling and energy efficiency. A compressor that's too big will have to turn off and on too much to keep your home at the correct temperature. A compressor that's too small will have to be on all the time to maintain the temperature you desire. Since your A/C compressor alone can account for up to 15% of your home's energy usage, any improvement can make a big difference in the long run.

Fun: A New Pool

Since your home upgrades can't be all plain, a new pool can be the perfect mix of practical (staying cool in the summer) with fun. An in-ground pool can provide the most opportunity for fun and relaxation, given its depth, the deck surrounding it, and the other features you can add to it. If you think that inground pool prices couldn't possibly fit in your budget, the least you could do is take the first step to investigate for yourself.

After all, you know a pool would be so nice to have, especially on those hot summer days. Don't just leave that thought as head knowledge, though, and put your thoughts into action to see what can be accomplished. Once you've begun the process of installing a new pool you'll find that upgrades to make it even more of a retreat don't change the cost that much and will provide a one-of-a-kind oasis for you and your family to enjoy.

Both: New Windows

If you're wondering how new windows can be both practical and fun, consider how much more enjoyable your home is on those beautiful spring and autumn evenings when there's a natural breeze flowing through. If your home's windows are too old to allow for easy opening, that's a great opportunity to improve the level of satisfaction you have with your home. If you imagine hard enough, that breeze flowing through on cool evenings can feel like a sea breeze, transporting you to an exotic beachfront locale.

On the practical side, new windows will save you money, plain and simple. Double- or triple-paned windows prevent heated air from escaping in the winter and cooled air from escaping in the summer and the opposite-temperature air from getting in from outside. Plus, with UV protection, these windows protect against fading of expensive furniture that could end up requiring early replacement and could even help prevent skin cancer. Not to mention, when windows are replaced, new seals around the window are installed, ensuring your windows are as airtight as possible.

Make it Yours

However you choose to invest in your home, it's important that the changes you make match your style and personality. After all, you don't want to invest a lot of money in major upgrades only to realize you really don't like how they look. Listen to advice on style choices but also consider what you know about your own tastes before making a final decision.

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