How to Drastically Reduce Your Home Energy Costs With Simple DIY Hacks

How to Drastically Reduce Your Home Energy Costs With Simple DIY Hacks

How to Drastically Reduce Your Home Energy Costs With Simple DIY Hacks

With energy costs on the rise, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their monthly utility bills. The good news is that there are plenty of simple DIY projects and hacks you can do to drastically cut your home energy costs without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best tips to help you get started:

Upgrade Your Lightbulbs

One of the easiest ways to reduce your energy usage is to switch to more efficient lighting. LED lightbulbs use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

  • Replace any remaining incandescent bulbs in your home with LED equivalents. The upfront cost is higher, but you’ll make it back in energy savings in less than a year.

  • Consider swapping out CFL bulbs for LEDs as well. Although CFLs use less energy than incandescents, LEDs are even more efficient and don’t contain mercury like CFLs.

  • Install dimmable LED smart bulbs that can be controlled remotely via smartphone or voice assistant. This makes it easy to adjust lighting and set schedules to reduce energy waste.

Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks can significantly increase heating and cooling costs by allowing conditioned air to escape outside.

  • Caulk and weatherstrip around windows, doors, electrical outlets, attic hatches, plumbing penetrations, and other cracks/gaps.

  • Pay special attention to the attic entrance, which is often overlooked. Cover with insulation and install a weatherized cover.

  • Add door sweeps and seals to exterior doors. Upgrade old windows with energy efficient models.

  • Consider having an energy audit done to pinpoint problem areas. Many utility companies offer rebates on professional air sealing services.

Insulate Effectively

Properly insulating your home is one of the most impactful steps you can take to improve energy efficiency.

  • Ensure attics have at least R-49 insulation. Use batts or blown-in cellulose which provides better coverage.

  • Check exterior walls for missing or thin insulation and add densepacked cellulose or fiberglass.

  • For finished walls, consider DIY spray foam insulation kits – the higher initial cost will pay off within a few years.

  • Insulate any ductwork running through unheated spaces like attics, basements or crawlspaces.

Adjust the Thermostat

Optimizing your thermostat settings can lead to significant savings on heating and cooling.

  • Program the thermostat to lower temperatures when you’re asleep or away from home.Aim for 68°F when home and awake and 60°F when sleeping or gone.

  • Consider installing a smart thermostat that you can control remotely and which auto-adjusts based on usage patterns.

  • Run ceiling fans to circulate air so you can raise the thermostat temp a few degrees without discomfort.

  • Keep tabs on your thermostat – make sure it’s level and recalibrate it if needed to ensure accurate temperature readings.

Upgrade HVAC Equipment

While costlier upfront, replacing old, inefficient HVAC systems with ENERGY STAR rated models can drastically reduce your home’s energy usage.

  • Look for systems with higher SEER and AFUE ratings. Request an audit from HVAC companies to determine if replacement makes sense.

  • Clean or replace air filters monthly and have HVAC equipment professionally serviced annually to keep it running efficiently.

  • Install programmable thermostats to control the times your system runs – this prevents unnecessary heating/cooling when not home.

  • Seal and insulate any HVAC ductwork that runs through unheated/cooled areas.

Implementing even a few of these DIY tips can help substantially reduce your home energy costs. Be sure to take advantage of any rebates or tax credits offered on energy efficient upgrades. A small investment upfront in your home’s efficiency will pay big dividends in energy savings over time.