Home heating and cooling is expensive, especially if you have a large home. According to energy.gov, the typical family in America spends $2,000 per year on utility costs. That’s a lot of money — enough to make you wonder what you can do to lower your bill. Take a look at these four DIY projects that almost all homeowners can do.
Find and Seal Air Leaks in Your Home
Air leaks around windows and doors cause your HVAC system to work overtime, which costs you money on your utility bill. An easy DIY project is to attach weather stripping to doors and redo the caulking around window frames. This seals off air leaks and prevents heating and cooling loss. You can buy a thermal leak detector to help you find air leaks more easily. Look for air leaks in other areas of your home as well.
Install Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs
Incandescent lightbulbs use more energy than LED and CFL lightbulbs do. You can save money on your utility bill by switching out the lightbulbs in your home. You no longer have to worry about harsh light, because energy-efficient bulbs come in several different tints to create a more inviting glow that reminds you of incandescents. Plus, they last longer. The best thing about this DIY project is how easy it is to do. All you have to do is unscrew the old lightbulb and screw the new one in.
Change Your Air Filter
Air filters are important for two reasons — they keep the air in your home clean, and they prevent dust and debris from clogging your HVAC system. Changing your air filter is an easy DIY project. All you need to do is locate the air intake in your home and install an air filter that fits. This is something you should be doing every one to three months. If a new air filter doesn’t seem to help your energy bill, you may need to call an HVAC professional for a tune-up. Regular maintenance keeps your HVAC unit running efficiently.
Insulate Your Pipes
Water heaters play a big role in the cost of your monthly utilities. When they have to work harder, you end up paying more money. A DIY project that helps relieve stress on your water heater is insulating your water pipes. This prevents heat loss as hot water travels throughout your home. You can buy insulation tubes with a peel-and-stick design for easy installation. This DIY project is great for homes that have a crawlspace or exposed pipes.
These are just a few ideas to lower your monthly utility bill using a DIY approach. If you’ve already done everything mentioned in this article, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something else you can do. New products come out every year that improve the energy efficiency of your home. If you’re handy, you can do most improvements yourself.