Home improvements don’t stop for Valentine’s Day. In fact, that’s when they start heating up — literally!

There are all kinds of ways to show love for your significant other or tackle a long-neglected honey-do list this time of year.

Best of all? These projects set the mood for the big day with your sweetheart, and can improve your home’s energy efficiency and usefulness for years to come.

Smart thermostat installed on a wall just outside the bathroom
No one wants to spend Valentine’s Day in a cold house! Smart thermostats can save you, on average, up to $180 per year on heating and cooling. (DepositPhotos)

1. Turn Up the Heat

Smart homes make everything more convenient — including setting the right temperature so you and your significant other are comfortable and romance can blossom.

With just a tap on your smartphone or tablet, make your home nice and warm for a romantic dinner and date night.

Just don’t look down at your phone during the actual meal! All eyes, of course, should be on your significant other.

Some smart thermostatsare relatively inexpensive, setting you back just $199. That’s a lot of money in the short run, but consider the money you’ll save down the line.

These thermostats are easy to install, and many of them come with guides and links to web tutorials so you can follow the videos and complete the job yourself.

Look for smart thermostats at your local home center and online. Then read reviews and ask friends about their experiences with a particular product before you make the purchase.

Dimly lit dinner table on Valentine's Day
You no longer need special electrical wiring to dim lights. Just install a smart lighting system, which may include one light bulb with all the Wi-Fi and dimming technology built inside. (©Arogant, DepositPhotos)

2. Add Ambiance

Hopefully, by now we’ve all moved past the Clapper! (If you even recall that leftover of 1980s culture.)

But seriously, if you really want to set the mood for Valentine’s Day, upgrade your home with a smart lighting system!

It sounds more complicated than it is because some smart lighting systems come with a hub that you can control with a mobile device; others simply include one lightbulb that has all the Wi-Fi technology built inside.

You can program the system to turn lights off once you leave a room — or manually turn lights off, even if you’re still in the room, with some taps on your smartphone.

And, with some smart lightbulbs, you can dim the lights, change their colors and create other effects to add ambiance.

Pair a smart lighting system with energy-efficient LED light bulbs and you can save as much as $200 per year on just lighting.

And with those kinds of energy savings, you’ll be able to afford more dates!

Couple raises wine glasses in front of a roaring romantic fire
Enjoying drinks — and each other’s company — by a fire is a timeless way to spend a romantic evening. But you don’t need a traditional fireplace; consider gas. (© monkeybusiness, DepositPhotos)

3. Cozy up to the Fire

Nothing beats the warm, cozy feeling of a fireplace, but consider these facts before rolling out a rug and whipping out the wine glasses:

• About 90% of a traditional fireplace’s heat goes right up the chimney. The fire’s glow provides a nice atmosphere but it does little to actually heat the home.

• In addition, some items, like newspapers, can cause damage to your chimney flue and even create a potential fire hazard.

Consider upgrading to a gas fireplace, which has unmatched beauty and simplicity. Gas fireplaces are designed to work with gas-burning logs and are more efficient at keeping the heat they generate in the home.

There are a number of different types of fireplaces out there. Click here for a list of them and their pros and cons.

Bluetooth speaker and smart phone on a wooden table
Romantic music in every room of your home? It’s possible, either with a wireless Bluetooth speaker or with multiple speakers throughout the house that play the same music. (©jipen, DepositPhotos)

4. Make Some Music

Nothing sets the tone for a romantic night out — or in — like music. However, gone are the days of turning on a stereo or popping in a CD to create the soundtrack for your date.

If you want greater control of your music, consider pairing your mobile phone and a streaming playlist with a battery-powered, completely wireless Bluetooth speaker.

You can carry one speaker from the patio to the dining room and other spaces, as your romantic evening progresses. Or you can station several speakers throughout your home and set them to simultaneously play the same music.

Look for Bluetooth speakers online and at your local home center, read the reviews, and then decide on the speaker or system that’s right for you.

Valentine’s Day’s origin story depends on your background and culture.  (©Robert Hale, DepositPhotos)

Fast Facts About Valentine’s Day

We celebrate Valentine’s Day each year, but what is all the hoopla about? Here’s why we mark it as the most romantic day of the year.

  • Valentine comes from the Latin word valens which means “worthy.”
  • According to ancient Roman history, there were several martyrs by the name of Valentine; however, one man was actually martyred and then buried on Feb. 14.
  • The Feast of St. Valentine was created by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. Upon its establishment, he was quoted as referring to Martyr Valentine, among others, as those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”
  • Another widely held belief of St. Valentine was that he was so distraught over the rebuff from his mistress that he cut out his heart and sent it to her, still beating, to show his unending love for her.
  • Of course, there are also some pagan mythologies to celebrate ancient fertility rituals that were marked on the calendar from Feb. 13-15.
  • Over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards reportedly are sent each year from all over the world
Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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