Weekend DIY projects typically cost money. Plus, they often cost more than you think because, if you’re new to DIY, you make mistakes and then have to fix them! And while you’d probably love to go buy all the latest energy saving appliances, that’s often not in the budget. Even still, there are small things you can do for little-no cost that will soon be putting money back in your pocket.
Change your furnace filter- This needs to be done a few times each year. But for about $50, you can extend furnace life, reduce energy bills and improve indoor air quality.
Insulate the small things- If you walk by your electrical outlets and feel the breeze from outside, you have a problem. Fortunately, it’s a cheap fix and your local hardware store will have foam gaskets for your switches and outlets.
Replace seals and weather strips- These don’t get much attention until you realize you have a problem. Caulking gaps and sealing windows keeps the cold air out and makes your home feel less drafty.
Lower your water heater thermostat- You probably rarely use the hottest water coming out of your tap. By lowering the max temperature on the water heater, you’ll save money and not even realize it. You can also insulate your water heater with a wrap to ensure no unneeded heat escapes. The optimal water temperature from your faucet is 49C and it might take a bit of trial and error to adjust on your water heater. If your tank-style water heater is powered by electricity, adjust the temperature to 60C on the water heater to keep your water safe. For other kinds of water heaters, you can adjust lower.
Beware of phantom power- This comes up on energy saving lists all the time, and it’s really effective. If you have a rec room that doesn’t get used much during the week, consider a power bar to make sure you’re not paying for those little red lights that show your electronics are plugged in.
Replace burned out bulbs with LED lights- These use up to 90% less energy and last at least 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The price tag may be a deterrent to start, but they’ll more than pay for themselves over the life of the bulb.
None of these tasks cost much, if any, money. When they’re finished, they’ll save money for many utility bills to come.
For more energy saving tips and products, visit https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/energystar/18953, administered by Natural Resources Canada