So much of our monthly income ends up going straight out to our utility companies. Water, sewer and my least favorites, power and gas. If you are looking for more ways to change your lifestyle and increase your energy efficiency (and of course, save money) you may be looking for some alterations you can make in your home. There are many do-it-yourself home projects that you can implement quickly and inexpensively to help conserve energy in your home. Below are 7 DIY projects, and changes you can make to your home to help conserve energy.
Upgrade To Energy Efficient Products
As more attention is drawn to reducing energy consumption, many electronics and appliance brands are producing energy efficient models of their products. This could be anything from your dishwasher, washer and dryer, computer, light bulbs, ceiling fans, and windows. While it may not be in your budget to replace all of these items at once, prioritize which ones you can upgrade in a manner that best fits your budget. When purchasing anything that draws energy, remember to inquire about energy efficient alternatives.
Utilize Solar Power
Installing solar panels to provide electricity to your home is one way to significantly reduce your energy consumption. Depending on the type and size of solar panels you install, this is a project that can cost up to $15,000 to complete. With such a high price tag, this is not an investment that fits into everyone’s budget. For those looking for ways to use solar power without installing costly solar panels, look for other solar alternatives. This could be anything from solar powered outdoor lights, solar powered phone chargers, or solar powered electronic chargers.
Seal Windows And Doors
Regardless of the time of year or climate you live in, outdoor air can sneak in to even the tiniest of cracks and crevices in your windows and doors. This requires you to use both your heat and air-conditioning with greater frequency, which wastes energy. By investing a few dollars into sealing cracks and crevices, replacing old doorjambs, and installing weather stripping, you can keep your heating and cooling bills where they belong. For particularly drafty windows and doors, you can add curtains, install window insulation kits, or replace them altogether.
Insulate Your Home
There are many areas of your home in which you can add insulation to prevent heat from escaping. This could be anything from your basement, attic, hot water heater, or hot water pipes. For areas of your home that have been previously insulated, get into the habit of checking the insulation for damage or gaps every few years. When buying insulation, be sure to purchase the appropriate kind for the specific area of your home you are insulating. The average hot water pipe insulation for a DIY project costs approximately $20 to complete.
Reduce Vampire Energy Sources
The average American household spends at least $100 a year on vampire energy sources. Vampire energy sources are plugged in electronic devices and appliances that draw energy even when they are not currently turned on. This includes items such as your coffee pot, microwave, television, computer, and electronic chargers. To reduce your vampire energy consumption, get into the habit of unplugging things when they are not in use. For hard-to-reach vampire energy sources, purchase smart energy strips that will reduce or eliminate vampire energy from the items plugged into them.
Program Your Thermostat
By investing in a programmable thermostat, or utilizing the programmable features on your thermostat, you can avoid the yo-yo of turning your heat up and down and up again on a whim. You can also program your thermostat so that you are not excessively heating or cooling your home when it’s unnecessary. For example, when you are at work, you may drop the temperature in your home a few degrees, and then turn it back up when you return home.
Maintain Your Heating And Cooling Sources
Even if you have not upgraded to energy efficient heating and cooling sources, your appliances will consume less energy when they are properly maintained. Change the filters on your HVAC system, get a tune-up on your hot water heater, and clean the coils on your refrigerator on a regular basis.
This article was written by Jared Miret, father and home handyman. He was tired of wasting money too, and made this changes to save some dough. He also checked out taraenergy.com for lower rates on the monthly electricity bill.