Energy-efficient strategies don't have to cost thousands of dollars or require a contractor. You can change your home energy use with a few simple projects. Energy Saver has DIY projects available on the Do-It-Yourself Energy Saving Projects page.
Each project details level of difficulty, potential energy savings, time to complete, and overall cost. There are also step-by-step instructions to make completing your DIY energy saving project a piece of cake.
Lower Water Heating Temperature
This "easy" water heater project recommends lowering your water heater temperature to 120°F. Lowering the temperature of the water heater can save $12-$30 annually for each 10° reduction and decreases the risk of scalding. It only takes about two hours to complete and doesn’t cost anything!
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature by 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing for a lower water temperature setting. It is rated as a medium difficulty level project, and can save $8-$12 annually. It will take about three hours to complete for a small house and costs about $10-$15 overall.
Insulate Hot Water Heater Tank
Just like insulating walls or a roof, insulating a hot water tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and save money, especially with an older water tank. It is a medium difficulty level project and can save you $20-$45 annually. It only takes an hour and a half to complete and will cost about $30 overall.
Install Exterior Storm Windows with Low-Emissivity Coating
Storm window installation is one of the most cost-effective solutions for upgrading energy inefficient existing windows. They’re easy to install and cost a fraction of replacement windows. In fact, low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows can lower energy costs just as much as replacing an entire window. It is rated as an easy project and can save you 10%-35% on your utility bill. It will likely take somewhere between 20-30 minutes per window and cost $60-$200 per window.
Seal Air Leaks with Caulk
Air leaks can waste a lot of energy dollars. One of the quickest energy- and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all cracks and large openings to the outside. This "easy" project will cost $3-$30 and only takes one to two hours to complete. It will also save 5%-10% on your energy bills.
Weatherstrip Double-Hung or Sash Windows
Using weatherstripping to seal air leaks around movable joints, such as windows or doors, can result in big energy savings. Weatherstripping windows is an easy project that only takes an hour or so to complete. It will cost $5-$10 and save 5%-10% on energy bills.