If you’re looking for easy DIY projects to tackle this weekend, here’s a variety of energy saving projects you can do yourself with relative ease. Start with something as simple as changing AC filters. If the vent cover is dirty or the return duct needs it, vacuum them both before replacing the filter. This only takes a few minutes, and it will extend the life of your AC unit. If your unit doesn’t have to work as hard, it will save you money in the long run. For extra savings, close all the vents in rooms seldom used.
Make the Switch
Replacing all of your old light bulbs with new energy efficient bulbs is another good place to start for easy DIY projects. These new bulbs are a bit pricier, but they last a lot longer and use less energy. Using CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) reduces sulfur oxide, CO2 emissions, and high-level nuclear waste in the atmosphere, which is far better for the environment.
Replacing old weather stripping around doors or installing it on new door frames is a snap. First, pull off the old stripping. If you need to, scrape any stubborn areas where it doesn’t want to come off cleanly with a razor blade or utility knife. Now, take your roll of weather stripping and start at the bottom of the door frame. Begin peeling the backing off with one hand as you smooth the stripping itself firmly and snugly into place, flush with the lip of the trim, all the way up to the top with your other hand. Hold your finger firmly in place in the corner and cut the strip neatly with your utility knife or blade. If you’ve got a gap at the top of the frame, by all means apply it across the top as well. Energy saving DIY projects like these save you money on lost heating and cooling bills.
Have a window or windows with a harsh eastern or western exposure? If you have a lot of them, your home or the rooms they’re located in will generally be several degrees warmer (not to mention the fact that the UV rays fade your furniture, carpets, and pictures whether they come into direct contact with them or not). This is going to force your AC unit to kick in more often to offset this occurrence. By going to your local DIY store, you can purchase rolls of tinted window film in varying shades that you can easily install yourself. Read the list of tools you’ll need to apply it properly, and purchase anything you don’t already have before returning home. Simply follow the instructions for installation, and you’ll be saving yourself additional money in no time.
Insulate Old Window Tracks
If you’ve got old, wooden sash windows that have shrunk with age, chances are you’re losing a lot of energy and letting in a lot of dust and dirt in the meantime. As DIY projects go, this is a lot easier than it seems. We’re not going to go into completely refurbishing the sashes themselves, but by buying adhesive-backed felt, of the kind you’d place on the bottom of a vase or anything you didn’t want to scratch a surface, you can keep them from rattling around and increase your energy savings. The felt can be bought in rolls of varying lengths at any DIY or craft store. After opening the window and cleaning the tracks, cut the felt in strips of the appropriate width for the track and install flush with no curled edges.