There is still just enough summer left for you to make some worthwhile improvements to your home, inside and out. Since we're close enough to the holidays for you to be pinching pennies for future shopping, it's a good thing there are some truly good buys available this month.

Consumer Reports has picked several products that could substantially improve your life right now and in the years to come.

  • Dehumidifiers - We might be having a fall preview this week, but eventually the warm temps will return along with our ever-present humidity. Dehumidifiers can make the rest of this summer season and the next more bearable. They suggest considering the size of space you'll have the dehumidifier in and proximity to living spaces in terms of capacity and noise levels.
  • Exterior paints & Wood Stains - Decide what type of finish you want, test your shades in full sunlight and consider how it fits in with your neighbors' homes' colors, unless of course, you want to be that bright pink home on your block.
  • Kitchen appliances - Even if you're spending a lot of time outdoors at the grill this summer, getting a good price on a new fridge, dishwasher, stove or microwave for the indoor seasons to come is never a bad thing. Decide what features you want, the price range you want to spend within, and what you really need, before you go shopping.
  • Gas Grills - Time to replace "old reliable"? Now is a good time to find end-of-season buys.
  • Room air conditioners - To figure out what you need, don't just consider BTUs. Think about the space you're cooling-- the size, the amount of sunlight coming into the room, the heat from cooking appliances, etc.

For more information, see Consumer Reports.

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