Practical DIY Energy Savers
Homeowners are tired of high heating and cooling costs, and they are wondering what DIY energy savers they can do right away to save some money. Are you looking for easy and effective DIY projects that will help bring your utility bills under control? We’ve got a handful of great ideas that will pay for themselves quickly and then save you money every month after that.
Poor Attic Insulation Is A Money Sucker
In my opinion, there’s really no DIY job that produces a better return on your investment. Another layer of insulation will keep heated air from escaping in the winter. In the summer, it will prevent hot attic air from penetrating into your home, making your air conditioner work harder. Buy rolled insulation from the local home improvement store and get to work. It’s quick, easy and effective. Blown insulation is another alternative and you can rent the blowing machine pretty inexpensively. You’ll need a friend to help you blow insulation, but in the world of energy savers, added insulation is perhaps the single best thing you can do to lower energy bills.
Replace Weather Stripping on Doors and Windows
Drafty doors and windows do the same thing that a poorly-insulated attic does on a slightly smaller scale. The result is an HVAC system that works longer, driving up your utility bills. Weather stripping is relatively cheap. If you find large gaps, you might consider using the foam insulation found in a can to fill them. Replace loose or missing caulk around the frames. Tighten up those windows and doors, and you’ll see a positive difference on your bills immediately. All serious energy savers look to door and window caulking as a quick and very inexpensive way to lower bills quickly.
Replace Old Doors And Save Lots Of Energy
Windows can be a tough DIY replacement job for many, but replacing a door is pretty easy for those with basic skills. Choose an insulated door and make sure it fits tight, creating a good, weatherproof seal. Add a storm door for additional energy efficiency. It’s not the cheapest route to go, but if your door is inefficient and drafty, it may be a worthwhile energy saving DIY project to consider that will pay for itself in no time.
Add a Fireplace Insert to a Masonry Fireplace
A masonry fireplace is basically a hole in your house. Even when you have a fire going, you’re losing far more heat than you’re gaining. And it’s driving up your utility bills. Get a fireplace insert from your local home improvement store. Choose one that is well-insulated. Consider one with a heat exchanger and a fan, so you’ll actually get some useful heat from it. Enjoy the ambience of a fire without regretting what it’s doing to your energy use and costs.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Are you currently heating your home to 72 when no one is there or they are all tucked into cozy beds? Do you keep the house at 74 in the summer 24/7? Why? You’re ensuring high utility usage and costs. You can enjoy energy savings with a programmable thermostat. In my home, I use the Honeywell RTH230B 5-2 Day Programmable Thermostat. I like it’s weekday/weekend settings, it’s easy to install and it works great. Set your new thermostat to 60-65 degrees in the winter when no one is home or when everyone is sleeping. Set it to start warming up an hour ahead of time, so that when people are home or awake, the house is comfortable. Then set the weekend days separately for comfort. You will have earned it during the week. Programmable thermostats are great energy savers and well worth the low price.
In the summer, let the house warm up to 80-82 when no one is home, and pre-program the thermostat to have it already cool when you get home. A programmable thermostat allows you to set it and forget it, so you don’t have to remember to change the thermostat every time you leave the house. Big savings are found in programmable thermostats and one of my favorite energy savers.
There you go: five quick, easy and fairly affordable energy savers to lower energy bills and reduce utility usage. Each one offers excellent return on investment in the form of less energy usage and lower utility bills.