Summer is on its way and most of us have lists full of home improvement ideas. While the cool spring temperatures start rising and giving way to the warmer summertime, we should consider adding home improvement tasks that also save energy. Here is a list of energy saving home improvements that, if you can make time, you’ll be glad you tackled.
- Cooling appliances – Your air conditioner and refrigerator are your two most crucial summer appliances. Be sure to clean their coils to maintain their effectiveness during Summer. Your refrigerator’s coils can be cleaned with a vacuum or rag. Clean your air conditioner’s coils (after removing the casing) with a power sprayer or brush.
- Thermostats – If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. It is estimated by Energy Star that this handy device could save you as much as $150 a year in energy costs. And who couldn’t use another $150?
- Fiberglass insulation – Insulation does a great job keeping your house cool in summer but it also keeps your house warm in winter by not allowing warm air to escape. Having proper fiberglass insulation could reduce your heating and cooling costs by 20 percent. And the good news is that an entire roll of insulation costs only $15!
- Re-caulking doors and windows – Even if you have insulation, there still may be some tiny cracks in your window sashes and/or door frames, allowing warm air in and cold air out. It is always a good idea to inspect your windows and doors every summer and re-caulk as necessary.
- Weather stripping – Kitchens and bedrooms can be especially drafty, resulting to energy wastage of 30-40 percent of total loss in cooling and heating, according to Energy Star. Fortunately, weather stripping materials can be purchased for less than $10 at most home improvement stores, making this an easy and cheap fix!
- “Energy intensive” air conditioning alternatives – If you feel like turning off your energy guzzling air conditioner, you may consider opting for a ceiling fan as a greener alternative. Other options include geothermal heat pumps, passive architecture or even drenching your curtains and/or drapes.
- LED lighting – Although LEDs initially cost more, they can save you around $164 a year per lamp in energy costs. LEDs also have lower carbon emission, greater lifetime, focus-oriented illumination and shock resistance. So make the switch to LEDs now!
- Planting trees – Always a good idea for the environment of your entire home, trees can also significantly reduce the temperature of your home with their shade in the summer and allow warm sun in your home in the winter.
Summer is coming! Let’s get motivated and save energy, all at the same time!