The typical American family spends nearly $2,000 a year on their home energy bills. But you don’t need to break the bank to keep your home comfortable—especially if you decide to take matters into your own hands.
These four do-it-yourself projects will help prepare you for the colder days and weeks ahead.
Insulating Hot Water Pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes can reduce heat loss and raise water temperature by up to 4° Fahrenheit. If your household uses a lot of water, this project could offset paying someone to do the job for you.
It takes 3 hours or longer to complete (depending on the house size) but insulating hot water pipes can save you up to 4% on your energy bill—if you’re willing to put the time in!
Sealing Air Leaks with Caulk
If your house is drafty in the winter, then caulking is a quick-and-easy way to save up to 20% on your heating bill.
Suggestion: Use caulking guns, aerosol cans, squeeze tubes and other caulking compounds to seal the leaks. Start with the biggest holes first before tackling smaller cracks and gaps.
Here are the step-by-step directions. Completion time is usually 1-2 hours.
Weatherstrip Air Leaks
Weatherstripping is another affordable option to cut down on air leaks. This is typically used for movable parts of the home such as doors and windows. Make sure to choose the best type of weatherstripping for the location of each project. Weatherstripping is made to withstand both friction and temperature changes to ensure the gaps stay sealed.
You can tackle this one in about an hour to get up to 10% in energy savings.
Here are the step-by-step directions.
Insulating Your Water Heater Tank
If you have an older water heater tank that doesn’t have built-in insulation with an R-value of at least 24, then it’s probably a good idea to insulate your water tank. Proper insulation can reduce standby heat loss by up to 45% and save up to 16% in water heating costs. This process usually takes between 1-2 hours.
Not sure of the water tank’s R-value?
Touch it with your hand. If it’s warm, then it needs additional insulation.
For an electric water heater, consider insulating underneath the tank as well. This prevents heat loss into the floor and could save an additional 9% on water heating energy.