When you make your home more energy-efficient, you’ll help the environment and reduce your utility bill. Some of these projects are simple and affordable DIY tasks that will pay off quickly. It may take longer for you to recoup the initial cost of larger investments, but they will impact your energy-efficiency over time.
1. Window Treatments to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
Windows and doors should have thick weatherstripping around them. When this product wears down or falls off, the air from outdoors can leak inside and affect the indoor temperature. Your heating and cooling systems will have to work harder to keep the house comfortable.
There are various styles available at your local hardware store. The easiest types to install are foam strips with adhesive on one side. To make your home more energy-efficient, remove all of the old pieces, lightly sand the surface, and wipe it clean. Next, expose the adhesive and press the new strips firmly into place. When you shut the window, it should fit snugly against the foam.
Along with new weatherstripping, add heavy drapes to windows. The fabric will keep the heat out in the summer months and will insulate against cold drafts during the winter. On the outside of the windows, consider hanging an awning to block the sun out even more. If your house has single-pane windows, upgrade to double or triple pane windows to make your home more energy-efficient.
2. Inspect the Attic
Before you head up into the attic, wear the proper clothing and gear. Insulation irritates the skin, nose, eyes, and respiratory system. Before opening the attic hatch, put on safety goggles, a mask, gloves, and long sleeves. Check the insulation to make sure it is thick and doesn’t have gaps. Over time, insulation will settle and lose its potency.
To refresh it, either install new rolls or have it blown in by a professional. If you choose to do it yourself instead, be sure to select the proper material for your area. Insulation is measured in R-value. Make sure you know how to use the machine, and take extra time to prepare the space and yourself for the job.
3. Smart Thermostat
Use technology to make your home more energy-efficient. With smart thermostats, you can program the heating and cooling system to turn off and on based on when the home is occupied. Set it to turn off right before you leave for the day and then have it turn back on shortly before you get home.
There’s no need to leave the AC or heater running when no one is home. Making this small change can significantly impact your utility bill. You and your family will not notice any difference since the thermostat will adjust to the desired temperature when you’re at home.
4. Check with Your Local Building Department to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient
Sometimes a city or state will have funding to promote saving energy. Building departments often offer homeowners incentives to switch out older appliances and windows or complete other energy-saving tasks. The incentive can be in the form of a rebate, a credit on your utility bill, or you might get a tax credit. The programs usually cover upgraded replacements, repairs, and even remodels.