One of the most common misconceptions about green living is that it’s expensive to get started. In reality, there are many ways to green your home that are cost effective and can be done in as little as one weekend. Most importantly, these four DIY projects are easy for anyone to complete – regardless of skill-level.
1) Replace standard lights with motion-detecting models
How many times have you walked out of a room and forgot to turn off the light? Probably more often than you think. This habit wastes energy, creates heat and increases utility bills due solely to the fact that someone forgot to flip the switch. While most homeowners will just try to kick the habit, some may turn to an increasingly affordable technology and install motion detecting sensors to household lights. Whether they’re installed indoors or out, these sensors typically cost no more than $20 and they’re as easy to install as changing a standard light switch.
2) Replace old thermostats with programmable models
As one of the best ways to save energy and lower utility bills, programmable thermostats have internal clocks that can be set to heat or cool your home to different temperatures throughout the day—such as automatically turning off when everyone is at work or school, and turning back on shortly before you return.
3) Find and fix leaks throughout your home
When we say leaks, most assume faucets or sinks. However, doors and windows should also be regularly checked as they can dramatically decrease the effectiveness or heating and cooling your home. By using weather stripping, caulk and tape, you can save a bundle on your utility bills.
4) Wrap the water heater in an insulated blanket
Water heaters are necessary for keeping your home’s water ready for showers and dishwashers, but they also pose the threat of wasted energy as they are constantly heating water to a suitable temperature. While it’s important to ensure your water heater isn’t heating past 120° F, it’s also important to make sure the unit is not releasing heat and wasting energy. A thermal blanket can help keep the water’s heat from escaping through the heater’s metal or fiberglass exterior, thus using less energy on the water’s temperature.