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Improvements and maintenance are a necessary part of home ownership with project costs ranging from a few dollars to a few thousand. However, there are a few home improvements that will actually save you money in the long run, which will make their initial cost feel all the more worth it:

Go green. Green investments often pay for themselves by lowering monthly utility bills. Eco-friendly upgrades may also lead to tax rebates at the local, provincial and federal levels. A few suggestions for greening your home are replacing old windows with insulated, low-E coated ones, energy efficient appliances and water heaters as well as loose-fill insulation.

Clean up. Spring cleaning isn’t only about sweeping and wiping, it’s also about pro-active maintenance, meaning what you do today could prevent major repairs down the road. Make sure you check your drains and gutters, service your A/C unit and replace any shingles or bricks that came loose during the winter.

Be smart. The average homeowner may not be ready for a house that answers their every need via voice command, but there are a few affordable smart upgrades that will pay off over time. Consider installing a smart thermostat that will turn the temperature down when you leave and when you’re asleep. Another easy switch is from regular to LED lightbulbs, which last much longer and use less energy.