Your home needs a lot of energy in order to power various devices, appliances, and systems. The average household in the U.S. consumes about 77 million British thermal units of energy and spends over $2,000 on energy bills every year. But there are many ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption and lower your monthly utility bills. In fact, there are a number of energy saving projects you can complete without the help of a professional. Add these DIY projects to your to-do list:
Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater
The temperature on most water heaters is set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is too high for the average home. A water heater set at this temperature wastes up to $61 per year in standby heat losses and over $400 per year in demand losses.
Reduce your energy consumption—and your monthly energy bills—by lowering the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This won’t drastically change the temperature of the water you use in your home, but it will drastically lower your annual energy expenses.
Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
Another simple way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to insulate your hot water heater. However, this project is only necessary if your water heater is fairly old since newer models are typically already insulated.
To complete this project, you will need to purchase a water heater insulating blanket kit at a home improvement store. The blanket may not be the same size as your water heater, so you may need to cut it to fit. Then, simply tape the insulating blanket in place around your water heater.
Completing this project can reduce your annual water heating expenses by up to 16%. You will save enough to cover the cost of this project within the first year!
Seal Air Leaks With Caulk
Tiny holes and cracks around your windows may let warm air inside your home in the summer and cool air inside your home in the winter. This can affect the temperature inside your home, which will force your heating and cooling system to work even harder to keep you comfortable.
Don’t let air leaks drive up your energy expenses. To save energy, use a caulking gun to seal the air leaks around your windows. Be sure to remove the old caulk with a large screwdriver or putty knife before applying a new layer. Apply the new layer of caulk at a 45-degree angle and use your finger to push the caulk deep into the cracks. The caulk will completely dry in about 24 hours, so you can start saving energy shortly after finishing this project.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
Lighting accounts for about 12% of your annual energy costs. To save money on lighting, replace traditional bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs.
Energy-efficient bulbs use up to 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard bulbs. You don’t have to replace every light bulb in your home to start saving. Replacing the bulbs in the five most frequently used light fixtures could save you up to $75 per year.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
Heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of your annual energy bill. To save energy on heating and cooling, invest in an inexpensive programmable thermostat.
Use your programmable thermostat to preset temperatures to ensure your heating and cooling system does not waste energy. For example, adjust the temperature during the hours you are at work so your heating and cooling system does not waste energy on maintaining a comfortable temperature in an empty home.
Using a programmable thermostat to preset temperatures can reduce your heating and cooling expenses by as much as 10% per year.
Plug Into Power Strips
Electronic devices that are plugged into an electrical outlet will continue to consume energy even if they are not in use. These “energy vampires” waste a significant amount of energy and drive up your monthly energy bills.
Stop these energy vampires by plugging devices into power strips. If you aren’t using your devices, flip the switch on the power strip instead of simply turning each device off. Turning the power strip off will cut off the energy source to prevent your devices from consuming energy when they’re not in use.
Take the First Step Toward A Greener Lifestyle
These DIY projects can help you save money, increase the resale value of your home, make your home more comfortable to live in, and reduce your carbon footprint. Tackle one or more of these projects to reap the many rewards of living a more energy efficient lifestyle.