What did you do this weekend?
We commonly hear this question followed by tales of sporting events or family get-togethers. But DIY lovers can say, “I made this…” or “We installed this…” over the weekend. Taking pride in our work is great, but this weekend tackle a project that allows you to save energy and do a good deed for the environment.
10 Energy Saving Ideas For DIY Lovers
Go “vampire” hunting. Yes, you read that correctly, but you can leave your wooden stakes and garlic in the gardening shed. “Vampires” are a lovely coined term to describe electronics that drain electricity while not in use. Take an afternoon to install power strips to make it easy to unplug electronics or create easy charging stations for devices so chargers are not always siphoning electricity.
Get a tree- or two. Instead of loading 2×4’s, try your hand at planting a tree to help cut down on your energy consumption. Experts recommend planting trees on the south, west, or east sides of your home to cut down on 30 percent of your cooling costs by taking advantage of their shade.
Insulate your windows with bubble wrap. Bubble wrap has a lot of uses besides packing and popping! This idea is new and a little novel, but the science behind it makes a lot of sense. Green houses have been taking advantage of this technique for years, but homeowners are just catching on. Simply attach strips of bubble wrap to the glass of a window with water or use simple frames for long term use. The wrap will add an extra barrier to keep cold or heat out!
Embrace plastic film for windows. In recent years, technology has made this insulating trick a lot easier and prettier. For colder regions you can choose heat shrink wrap for using indoors or turn to easy cling reflective films to repel sunlight in warmer climates.
Install a clothesline or build a drying rack. Clothes dryers use a lot of energy and are a great place for wayward socks to become lost. There are a variety of modern rack designs that make air drying clothes easier and prettier. Do a quick search for some economical and energy saving ideas! Save a sock and start using a clothesline or drying rack to hang out wet laundry.
Shorten the hose to your dryer. If you can’t give up your clothes dryer, help it work more efficiently and cut down on the energy it consumes. Simply, try shortening the hose. This is relatively simple, but can save you a lot of money down the road.
Insulate hot water heaters and pipes. This is a simple project, but it can save a lot of energy and money in your wallet. Buy foam insulating tubes at the local hardware store and cover all the exposed hot water pipes running through your house. For added bonus, get an insulation “blanket” for your hot water heater.
Seal and fill gaps with caulk. Spend a weekend caulking or sealing gaps around windows and doors to stop drafts and keep the comfortable air inside your home. This project is relatively cheap, easy, fast, and shows results almost immediately.
Install a programmable digital thermostat. We live in a world where electricity and gas rates are constantly changing. A programmable thermostat can allow you more control when it comes to heating and cooling your home for a decent price. Try looking for one that you can access with your computer or Smartphone to control it from anywhere!
Utilize ceiling fans to cut down on heating and cooling costs. Take a weekend to install a ceiling fan to help create air circulation to keep a home cooler or warmer. In the winter, run it on low going in a clockwise direction to keep the warm air low and reverse it in the summer to keep warmer air closer to the ceiling.
In the process of completing an energy savings DIY project, we can save some money while entitling us to bragging rights around the water cooler come Monday morning. Imagine the look on the faces of your co-workers when you proclaim, “This weekend I went vampire hunting and rewired a ceiling fan.”
Uma Campbell is a green loving yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California where she enjoys writing about natural living, health, and home design.@Umajcampbell www.umajcampbell.wordpress.com