By Uma Campbell, Freelance Journalist
Do you love watching home improvement shows on TV? Do you find yourself tackling projects on your own every weekend? If you answered yes to either one of these questions, then you will love these DIY energy saving ideas:
Create a rain barrel.
Have you ever wondered where all the rainwater goes after it falls onto your house? It flows through your gutters and is released into puddles on the side of your house. Instead of letting this water sit unused, create your own rain barrel that can be placed underneath your gutter’s downspout to collect rainwater as it flows. When it’s full, use this water to wash your dog outside or to water your grass. And, of course, another way to reduce stormwater runoff is to plant trees around your home to help absorb the water.
Insulate your water heater tank.
Unless you have a new model, your water heater tank is probably not insulated. All you’ll need is an insulation blanket and a friend to help you hold it in place. First, turn off your water heater and then measure it carefully. Cut the insulation blanket to fit the tank, and then wrap it around, temporarily taping it into place. Once it’s secure, cut out holes where the control panels are, and then tape the blanket permanently in place. This project can reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent, so you should notice a big difference on your next utility bill.
Seal air leaks.
When you have tiny air leaks around your windows and doors, hot air can make its way into your house during the summer, and cool air can come in during the winter. This forces your heating and cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. To fix this issue, buy a caulking gun and caulk. Clean the area thoroughly, removing any old, cracked caulking that may be left over. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and release the caulk while moving the gun smoothly from one side of the door or window to the other. If the caulk does not make it all the way into the crack, use a spoon or other utensil to push it in before it dries. After you have caulked the perimeter of the door or window, clean up any spills and you’re done with this project! Another great way to save on your heating and cooling bills is to plant more trees around your home. Properly placed trees around the home can reduce these costs by up to 30 percent.
Install a window film.
If you have a bigger budget for home improvement projects, you should consider replacing windows with Energy Star models, but if you don’t, then installing a window film is a great alternative. Window films block the heat’s sun from coming into the house so your air conditioner does not have to consume as much energy to cool down the space. Curtains and blinds will also help prevent heat from getting in your home, but you have to have them closed to reap the benefits. With a window film, you don’t have to lose the view from your window to start saving energy.
Not only are these projects a lot of fun, but they also help you protect the environment and save a little money on your utility bills. Talk about a win-win situation