Save Energy at Home by Doing These Few Simple Things
By Guest Contributor: Tara Heath
What’s on the top of almost everyone’s New Year resolution list? Saving money! This year, don’t give up on your goal of cutting back. One way to put money back in your pockets is by reducing the amount of energy you use in your home, and therefore lowering monthly energy bills. There are dozens of DIY projects that can be quickly done to see fast results, so there’s no better time than the present to get a kick-start on saving energy!
Turn it down to save energy
The thought of turning your thermostat down in the middle of winter could send shivers down your spine, but don’t worry! You don’t have to crank the temperatures down to start to see savings, just drop it by one degree. Each degree you lower your thermostat will save you around 3% on your monthly bill. Because it’s such a small change, you’ll barely notice the difference in temperature, but you’ll definitely notice the difference on your bill!
Seal air leaks to save energy
Air leaks are a problem that can cost money throughout the year, causing warm heat to leak out in the winter and cool air to do the same in the summer. One of the quickest and easiest ways to start saving energy and money is to seal these air leaks with caulk. Check the perimeters of windows to see if the current caulk has dried or cracked. If it has, this is a sign that air has been leaking through these pesky holes and costing you energy and money! Strip this damaged caulk away with a caulk remover and reapply a fresh layer around the frame.
Insulate the hot water tank to save energy
Brand new hot water tanks are most likely already insulated, but the majority of homes currently have older tanks that are not. Save between 4-9% on your water heating costs by completing this simple DIY project! All you have to do is purchase a water heater insulating blanket kit at a hardware store, and measure it to fit around your tank. After the hot water heater has been turned off, tape the insulation blanket in place, and cut out areas where the controls are so you can easily access these. These simple steps will reduce standby heat losses by up to 45%!
Save Energy by Switching out light bulbs
One of the easiest fixes that can be made in the home is to switch out old light bulbs with new, energy efficient varieties. Choose a light bulb that has earned the ENERGY STAR, and you’ll save an estimated $75 a year! Plus, you won’t have to sacrifice the quality of lighting in your home since these bulbs are just as bright as the outdated designs.
Get a programmable thermostat to save energy
If you don’t already have one, switch to a programmable thermostat that allows you to set temperatures for the hours you’re not in the home. Keeping the house cooler or warmer during the hours you’re in the office or on vacation will save you as much as 30% on heating and cooling! This quick and easy DIY project doesn’t require a handyman, just a little bit of your time to remove the old model, disconnect the wires and attach your new programmable thermostat to start saving on energy and money.
With quick and easy fixes like these, 2016 will definitely be the year you follow through on cutting back on energy consumption and spending!