Housing

4 Home Upgrades for 2014

4 Home Upgrades for 2014 :: Mint.com/blog

You probably wouldn’t hold onto the same cell phone for 20 years, right?

Home items like your thermostat are no different!

While your entire house doesn’t need to be on the cutting edge, these four items are worth upgrading:

Homeowners Insurance.

If there’s a flood, are you covered? And what happens if your grandfather’s watch is stolen?

Not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal, so take a few minutes to get to know your policy now before problems arise later.

[Read: 15 Ways to Save More On Your Homeowner's Insurance]

Crosscheck your policy with this list of common things that aren’t covered to make sure your needs are met.

If important coverage is missing, upgrade!

Locks. 

Last year, almost 30 percent of burglaries were no-force entries, which means that the thief simply came in through a door or window!

To prevent this from happening, the National Crime Prevention Council recommends that every exterior door – from the patio to the front porch – have a dead-bolt lock with a one-inch throw.

(This means that the bolt passes one inch into the doorframe.)

If your lock isn’t up to snuff, it may be time to replace your door hardware.

Light Bulbs.

Rocking incandescent bulbs in your lamps is like using a clunky flip phone. It made sense about ten years ago, but it’s time to modernize!

[Read: The Best Apps to Help You Go Green at Home]

If you’ve been resistant to purchasing CFL bulbs because they’re a little more expensive, it’s important to know that they use 1/5 of the power and last 6-10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

This means that upgrading the bulbs in your house to CFL can save you about $30 per bulb!

Thermostat. 

For less than $50, your house can have perfectly controlled temperatures with zero effort on your part. All you need is a programmable thermostat!

[Read: 3 Ways to Lower Heating Costs This Winter]

Not only does a programmable thermostat make your life easier, it can save you about $180 a year on energy costs (that’s worth about 50 lattes at Starbucks).

Plus, they’re easy to install!

Tip: If you’d rather hire someone to make the switch for you, we recommend hiring a handyman.

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