If you could lower your utility bills and save the planet at the same time, would you?
So, what are you waiting for? With technological advancements in solar power and thermostat control apps, making your home energy efficient has never been easier.
This doesn’t mean you’ll need to install a wind turbine in your backyard, but there are a few things you could do to get started.
Here are 10 easy DIY projects to make your home energy efficient.
1. Seal Your Windows and Doors
If you feel a draft in your home or notice it is hard to maintain a certain temperature, your window or door frames are likely responsible.
Air leakage through open gaps in your window or door frames allows heat and cool air to enter and leave your home.
There are two easy ways to reduce leakage from happening: weatherstripping or caulking!
There are multiple kinds of weatherstripping you can use — apply tape or foam in areas where you notice medium to large gaps in the frame.
Caulking, on the other hand, is used for smaller gaps. You will need a caulking gun for this project, however, some newer brands come with their own tool.
2. Insulating your Attic
Do you know if your attic is insulated? If it isn’t, your home could be losing close to 15-25% of it’s heating and cooling.
Installing insulation on your own is easy with new blow-in insulation. You’ll want to make sure you’ve sealed off areas with gaps or cracks before putting it in. You won’t want to seal off areas with pipes and wires, either.
Renting a blower and purchasing materials will save you the cost of labor and will pay for itself long-term. Local department stores like Lowes and Home Depot both carry this type of insulation.
Safety is important for this project because you don’t want to breathe in fiberglass or other toxic materials– be sure to wear goggles and a face mask.
3. Insulating your Pipes
If you live in a cold climate, you’ve heard about frozen water pipes. But did you know, exposed pipes also allow your water to lose heat before it reaches your faucet?
Before covering the pipe, check for leaks or damages that will need addressing. After you’ve done that, you should cover the exposed pipe in the material of your choice– foam covers or spray.
To add extra insulation, fill the gaps between the pipes and where it enters the wall. You can either use spray foam or extra insulation from your attic!
In doing so, you’ll also be able to lower the temperature on your water heater.
4. Change your Light-bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are so 1879. With the development of Light Emitting Diode, or LED, and Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFL, bulbs there is no longer a reason not to be energy efficient!
LED and CFL bulbs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different lighting.
5. Install an Electricity Timer
While having energy efficient light bulbs is great, it won’t do you much good if they’re on all the time.
If you’re looking for a way to control lights, televisions, or other devices that will drain your electric bill the time switch is an easy solution. Plug the timer into a wall socket or light switch (after shutting off the electricity). Then set it to when you want the lights or devices to turn themselves off!
6. Bathroom Necessities
Turning off the water while you brush your teeth and taking shorter showers are proactive ways to save; but if you want more ways to be energy efficient consider a low flow fixture.
A low flow fixture is designed for shower heads, sink faucets, bathtub faucets and toilets. As it is named, the fixture will reduce the amount of water used and is designed to retain water pressure.
Fixtures will use less, meaning lower water heating and water consumption bills. Low flow toilets are known to use half the amount of water than its counterparts.
They are easy to install on your own and you’ll be saving water without having to think about it.
7. Get a Storm Door
A storm door acts as a barrier against the elements and an insulator for your home.
During the winter and summer, a storm door will seal off the entrances to your home allowing it to retain heat and cool air. You will also be able to open your door and allow temperate air to flow through.
When paired with sealing your window and door frames it can be the second defense against air leakage.
8. Clean your Filters
If you have an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Unit or other air filters in your home– clean them out and replace them regularly.
Making sure your units are tuned-up, have clean filters, and aren’t leaking will save you energy and money long-term. It will prevent it from breaking down while also making sure it is running smoothly and effectively.
If the filters are clean it doesn’t have to work as hard or use as much energy to be efficient.
9. Think About Solar Panels
For the more adventurous homeowner, installing your own solar panels will be a challenge. The work and effort that goes into this project will be worth it.
In the most basic explanation, solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Choosing what type and size of panels you will need depends on what you want it to power.
Some homeworkers chose it as a back-up or secondary power source while others chose to power their entire homes with it. For this project, consulting a solar panel professional before taking it on can help you make the right decision for your household.
10. Plant Trees
We’re serious. Plant some trees around your home!
Taking into consideration the position of the sun around your home during the day, planting trees and provide shade to keep your home cool during the summer and allow the sun to come through in the winter.
Trees will also add some beauty to your yard and garden!
Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Taking these steps to make your home energy efficient will give you that extra vacation money you’ve been trying to save. It will also help the effort to reduce waste and save the planet!
After you’re finished with these easy projects, consider taking on some fun design DIY!