For many homeowners, there’s a misconception that “greening” or improving the energy efficiency of your home takes a lot of another kind of green – money. In reality, there are a number of do-it-yourself home improvement projects homeowners can undertake that do not require much of a financial commitment or advanced technical skills.
“One of the more obvious ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to replace older appliances and heating units with ENERGY STAR products. Even with tax credits and rebates that are presently available, that’s not financially feasible for a number of households,” said Mike Georgeff, of DirectBuy. “Starting small with some low cost, do-it-yourself projects is a great way to make your home run greener and reduce your utility costs as well.”
Some green, do-it-yourself projects that a novice handyman can undertake include:
· Insulating hot water pipes – A lot of heat and energy is lost through your hot water systems. The pipes disperse heat pretty quickly, so even if the water in the heater is warm, the water left in the pipes is not. This means you need to run the water for several minutes before hot water flows through the pipes. This wastes water and causes you to heat more water when it’s probably not necessary. For around $100, you can insulate your pipes with either rubber or polyethylene foam. This minimizes the cool-down time on your hot water pipes. Consequently, you save water by not having to let it run as long and energy because your hot water heater isn’t working as hard.
· Insulating your water heater – Following the same concept as heating your hot water pipes, by putting an insulating jacket on your hot water heater you can lessen heat loss by up to 40 percent.
· Install a programmable thermostat – By programming your heating system to lower temperatures or turning it off completely when you’re at work during the day, you can save up to 15 percent on your heating bill.
· Install a ceiling fan – Not only can this help lessen air conditioning use during the warmer parts of the year, but reversing the direction of the fan can actually help you re-circulate the heat during the cooler times of the year.
· Planting trees – Believe it or not, by strategically planting shade trees around your home, you can save considerably on your energy bills by reducing your air conditioning costs during summer. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy found that by planting as few as three trees in the right locations can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs per year.
· Weather-strip your windows – If replacing your current windows with double- or triple-pane windows is too costly, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency by adding weather stripping to windows where air is coming through. Doors and electrical outlets are a few other areas where weather stripping can also provide more than a stopgap measure.
“These are just a few ways a homeowner can improve the energy efficiency of their home without a huge financial commitment and without having to be an expert on home improvement. You just have to be able to follow instructions,” said Georgeff. “By taking these small steps you can improve your home’s energy efficiency and put the savings toward upgrading appliances and other household necessities with ENERGY STAR products down the road.”
DirectBuy Club offers many products to improve the energy efficiency of your home—all at direct insider prices. In addition, DirectBuy also employs product specialists and designers, so if you need some assistance in selecting products or taking on a home improvement project, you have seasoned professionals at your service.
About DirectBuy Club
For more than 38 years, DirectBuy Club has been showing thousands of consumers unparalleled ways to save as they shop for virtually everything for in and around their homes – from furnishings, home improvement and flooring, to entertainment and outdoor products, accessories and much, much more. With more than 160 locations in North America, DirectBuy Club offers its members access to more than 700 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in the US, and more than 500 brand-name manufacturers or their authorized suppliers in Canada.