These winter months just don’t seem to be ending! This time of year ends up being a big drain on your wallet, what with electricity and gas bills thanks to short days and cold houses. However, there are several DIY projects you can undertake in order to make your home more energy efficient. Some of these projects are more labor intensive than others, but all of them are worth it! Here are some examples:
If your windows aren’t double-paned, chances are you’re losing a lot of heat through them. Installing storm windows over your current windows is easy and inexpensive, and can reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows by up to 50%.
2) Seal air leaks from inside your house
When you have air leaks in your home, it seems intuitive to seal them from the outside. However, sealing them from the inside actually saves more energy. Check your attic and your basement, as these are the two places in your home that are most likely to have leaks that will greatly reduce the energy efficiency of your home. For small leaks, you can caulk; for larger ones, such as the ones around pipes and cables that come into your home, spray expanding foam around the leaks.
Electrical outlets are a major source of heat loss, which makes sense if you look at the structure underneath the plastic plate. You can reduce the amount of heat lost by removing the plastic plate, fitting in a foam gasket that fits to the back of the plate, and re-installing the plate on top. This trick won’t totally block heat from leaving through your outlets, but it will help, and it’s simple and inexpensive.
4) Add insulation to your attic
If you’re in a new home, you probably don’t have to worry about this. Older homes, however, often have attics that are under-insulated, which can lead to major energy inefficiency. It’s pretty inexpensive to add insulation to your attic by yourself, especially blow-in spray foam insulation, which can be done as an afternoon project. Most hardware stores will rent you the equipment necessary to complete the job.
Covering your windows with plastic film is a fast and inexpensive way to block out leaks that may be finding their way through your windows. Buy some film, then spend an hour or two using a hair dryer to attach the film onto your window frames, and watch your energy bills drop!
There are many ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home and ultimately lower your electricity and gas bills, but these are some of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to do so. What do you do to make your home more energy efficient in the winter? Post in the comments below to give us more ideas!