Saving energy and minimizing your carbon footprint is easier than you think. These five DIY home improvement projects will help cut down on your energy consumption and pay for themselves quickly in instant energy savings. The best part: all of these projects can quickly and easily be done in one weekend to make your home more energy efficient.
1. Start At Your Dryer.
Shortening your dryer-vent hose can help you save on energy costs. It sounds simple, because it is. Start by disconnecting the hose and vacuum it out. Once that's one, trim the hose so it's just long enough for your to pull the dryer a few feet out from the wall. Keeping the hose short and unobstructed increases your dryer's efficiency.
Savings: Around $25/year on electric, gas, or propane.
2. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Most water heaters have a thermostat that comes programmed at 140 degrees. Use your screw driver and turn your water heater thermostat down 20-30 degrees and you'll see energy savings while still enjoying hot showers.
Savings: Around $30+/year on gas, electricity, or propane.
3. Shut The Door
Shut doors to everything that isn't regularly used. We're talking closets, vacant rooms, guest rooms, and any room that isn't used daily. Doing this helps insulate your house and helps keep the energy in the rooms that are used.
Savings: $30/year off of your electricity bill.
4. Get Computer Savvy
No, we're not asking you to be a computer guru. Using a laptop instead of a desktop is a simple way to cut down on energy costs. Because laptop batteries use less electricity than desktops, your energy bill will decrease.
If you do use a desktop, be sure to set your computer to sleep mode when not in use. It uses much less energy in this mode. Also, ditch the screen saver. Screen savers actually increase your computer's energy usage because they make it work harder than when in sleep mode.
Savings: $30/year off of your electric bill.
5. Window Upgrades
Window energy savings don't mean you have to replace your windows. A simple and budget-friendly solution to energy savings is storm windows. Storm windows give the openings in your home an added layer of protection and insulation. Storm windows help keep your home more comfortable while lowering your energy usage. Additionally, they help keep out dust, wind, and noise. Low-e storm windows are available to help you save even more.
Cost: Starting at $77/window
Savings: Around $120 annually