DIY Energy Saving Projects
Great Energy Saving Ideas
A few materials and a little bit of time can help you cut your energy costs.
Small gaps around doors and windows can lead to big gaps in your budget. Fill in cracks and crevices now.
- Remove old weatherstripping, scraping with a putty knife if needed. Use a cleaning solution or warm, soapy water; clean the area inside and out.
- Test-fit the weatherstripping by holding it in place before you remove any backing or cut the material.
- Cut the stripping to length. With flexible types of weatherstripping – felt, vinyl, or foam – cut the material slightly long than needed.
- Install the weatherstripping by either removing the backing or attaching it with the appropriate fasteners. Test the door or window by holding your hand around the jambs and check for air movement. At night shine a flashlight around the door or window and have someone on the inside see if they can see any light. Light means air can get through too.
Tip: Even the smallest of cracks can make a big difference. An opening as small as the thickness of a nickel can create drafts and cold spots around your home and affect your energy usage. For small cracks and crevices, use a caulk rated for outdoor use. It will say on the label what the caulk is intended for and if it can be painted after it dries.
Unconditioned spaces – basements, attics and garages – or insufficiently insulated areas can affect the comfort of your home in both summer and winter.
- Measure the area of the space requiring insulation to determine how much you’ll need. Insulation in attics, for example, should be at least 8 inches thick.
- Cut the insulation to fit using a utility knife and a straightedge as a guide. For uneven areas or narrow spaces, you may need to cut the insulation lengthwise.
- Position the insulation between the studs or joists with the vapor barrier (paper side) facing the living space. Start at the top of the wall when insulating between studs, or at the end of a joist when insulating a ceiling.
- Attach the vapor barrier edge (flange) to the inside of the studs using a staple gun. Be careful not to compress the insulation.
Ceiling fans do more than just move air around. They help your heating system or air conditioner work more effectively, keeping you more comfortable year-round, while reducing your energy bills.
Most fans have a reversible switch and using this switch is the trick to making your ceiling fan work in both seasons.
In the winter, you want those blades rotating in a clockwise direction, which causes the hot air up near the ceiling to be redistributed to lower parts of the room.
In the summer, your blades should be rotating counter-clockwise, so that you can feel cool air being pushed down on you. This simple trick can make your room feel 3 to 4 degrees cooler and allow you to set your thermostat a little higher.
Making it a habit to turn off lights that are not being used is a good way to avoid wasted energy. Find more helpful ways to save.