They say your home is your castle, but while we all love the idea of living in a castle what a home is an investment. You can do plenty of things to increase the value of your home. Some of them are obvious, like remodeling the kitchen or updating the exterior of the house, while others might not be so obvious. Here are four unexpected ways to increase the value of your home.

1. Upgrade Your Appliances

If you're looking to sell your home, it can be tempting to sell it as-is, but if your appliances are old or out of date - or aren't as energy efficient as newer models - it could deter potential buyers and lower the final sale price of your home. Update your appliances to new Energy Star models to increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to eco-conscious buyers.

2. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

If your home is in an area with excellent barbeque weather throughout most of the year, why not add an outdoor kitchen? This is a bit more sophisticated than just putting a grill on your patio. Set up a preparation and cooking area. You can even add a sink to aid in washing, prepping and clean-up after you've cooked. Wrap up the look with some comfortable seating, a fridge to store cold drinks and something to keep the sun off your head, and you'll be spending more time outside than in.

3. Eliminate Odors

You don't want anyone to walk into your home and smell something unpleasant. It can make it harder to sell your home and make it less likely that people will come to visit you. Whether the house smells like smoke because of a former smoker in the home, or a lingering mildew smell after water damage, these odors can be hard to get rid of.

In addition to smelling unpleasant, some materials can pose a health hazard. Cigarette smoke and pet dander, for example, can trigger an allergy attack and asthma in sufferers of both these conditions. Consider contracting a professional odor removing service if removing the smell yourself isn't working.

4. Go Blue

If you're looking to give your home a new look, the color you choose can impact the value of your home. A paint color analysis conducted by home-buying website Zillow, homes that had kitchen and bathrooms painted blue sold for $1,800 to $5,400 more than households with similar room designs painted white.

Buyers look for cooler colors, so a few cans of paints can potentially increase the value of your home by thousands of dollars. Stick to the lighter shades, though - if the new homeowners want to change the colors in the future, softer tones are easier to prime and paint over.

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to remodel your home or add an extra room to increase the value. Something as simple as getting rid of an unpleasant odor or repainting the kitchen can improve your home's value.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington