Now that it’s fall, the leaves are changing, as is the weather. It’s time to start thinking of how your home will brace itself for the unpredictable New England winter.
Thinking of home improvement projects that will help your home fight the cold without breaking the bank? Below are some simple DIY home improvement projects that can help you prep for the winter – and lower your energy bill.
Hang on a sec!
You can’t tackle the problem if you don’t even know where it is. Before you take out any tools, you should get a home energy audit through the Mass Save program. This will allow you to pinpoint your home’s problem areas and prioritize which tasks should be done first.
With your audit out of the way, you’re ready to take on your first project. Also, with the MassSave program, you can take on many of the projects below, organized by ease and time commitment, at no cost!
Out with the old bulbs, in with the new.
Replacing old light bulbs with energy-efficient ones is more of an afternoon chore than a weekend project, but doing so gives a pretty big bang for your buck when it comes to saving on your electric bill.
Use of new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50-75%. Saving the day AND your electricity!
Days are shorter in the winter, so naturally we leave the lights on longer. CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are a budget-friendly alternative to the even more energy-efficient LED light bulbs. LED bulbs use only 33% of the energy of CFLs, don’t heat up, and last 10 times as long. Not to mention, they’re pretty durable, which is something to keep in mind if you have young children around the house.
Hint: Your out-of-date incandescent light bulbs will be replaced with shiny new LED bulbs during your Mass Save energy audit.
Bar the door!
New England winters are unpredictable. Sealing up the gaps in your doors will prevent air leaks, which can make your heating system work harder than needed. Doors and windows are the most common air leak culprits, but they’re an easy fix. Air sealing is pretty simple task; all you need is caulking, weatherstripping, and some patience.
Did you know that air sealing your home can save you up to 35% on your annual energy costs?
Hint: Don’t know where those pesky air leaks are? You’ll find out during your Mass Save energy audit.
Save water while you shave.
Replacing your shower heads and faucets will not only make your bathroom more aesthetically pleasing, but also help you save water, and of course, money. Water heating costs can account for up to 18% of your annual energy bill. Changing your shower head to a low-flow model can save you up to $20 a year.
Do you have a leaky faucet that is driving you wild? You better fix it quick. That little drip wastes over 1,000 gallons of water a year, totaling $35 in wasted energy costs.
Hint: Low-flow showerheads and sink aerators may be included in your Mass Save energy audit.
Pull the cord on old appliances.
Appliances can last several years, but they are one of the largest electricity consumers in your home. Pulling the cord on your old appliances and replacing them will help you save in big ways. When shopping for a new appliance, always look for the ENERGY STAR rating. Keep in mind that while a gadget may look nice, you should focus on its energy-efficiency first.
Proper insulation is key.
Is your home still cold even though you’ve been running the heat all day? While most home improvement chain stores have DIY kits, you’ll save time and money in the long run by calling up insulation installers. Take the time to research which type of insulation would be best for your home. Not every room in your home is the same, so different areas will need special treatment. Select an insulation contractor that specializes in various insulation types.
Does insulation sound like a big undertaking? During your Mass Save home energy assessment, Energy Monster will help you determine whether you qualify for as Mass Save HEAT Loan. This is a zero interest loan for up to $25,000 that can be used to upgrade your insulation, heating and cooling system, and windows. Before you start any DIY home improvement projects, be sure to call us first to schedule your no-cost home energy audit.