Looking for a New Year’s resolution for 2016? Why not dedicate this year to DIY projects in the home that will save you money and energy?
With these simple projects, your home will become greener and more efficient, and you’ll earn the bragging rights to tell all your friends you did it on your own!
Seal up leaks.
Do you ever feel like no matter what you do to your thermostat, you’re either too hot or too cold? Who wants to be uncomfortable in their own home? Fix this problem by checking vents and openings for leaks that could be wasting heated or cooled air…and energy!
Check exposed ducts for any obvious holes, and then carefully feel around for any air flow coming out of small holes. Find one? Use heat-resistant tape as opposed to duct tape, which doesn’t hold well in warmer temperatures.
Check windows and doors.
As you seal up leaks to save energy, check your windows and doors! For doors, seal leaks with a weather-stripping seal which is easily attached to the door using just a few screws and a screwdriver. For windows, check the caulking around the perimeter of each window. If you notice cracked caulking, that means it’s time to get rid of it and reapply. Using a caulk remover, strip away the old, dried caulk and reapply a fresh layer on the frame exterior.
Insulate your pipes.
Ready to save water, energy and money? This DIY home project typically raises your home’s water temperature by 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit. What does this mean for you? Not only will you wait for the water to heat up before you jump in for a shower, but you’ll be able to lower your water temperature setting to save energy.
Simply measure the length of your hot water pipes and cut insulation as needed. Place the insulated pipe sleeve with the seam facing down against the pipe. Every foot or so, secure the pipe in place by taping or wiring the insulation down.
Go green with a little help from Mother Nature by collecting rainwater and using it to water plants, wash the dog or clean your car. To complete this DIY project, simply shorten your gutter run off. Head to a hardware or specialty store and invest in a rain barrel. Place this underneath the gutter to collect all water that falls through the gutter.
Rethink the traditional lawn.
Outside the home, you can also take on DIY projects to make greener choices in 2016. Many lawns require consistent fertilization and large amounts of water to stay healthy and lush throughout the seasons. Consider other options to cover portions of your yard that don’t use much water or require harsh chemicals.
That flower bed in the corner? Surround it with mulch instead of fresh, green grass. Or, create a sitting area with gravel surrounding your outdoor furniture instead of grass. Little changes can make a big payoff when it comes to saving energy.
Here’s to a New Year filled with energy savings!