DIY Home Energy Projects
Winter weather can have a big impact on your energy bills, hitting your pockets a little harder than you would have liked. Now that spring is nearly here, it’s the perfect time to tackle a simple DIY project. One of the easiest projects is insulating your water heater. Insulating a water heater that’s warm to the touch can save 7 to 16 percent annually on your water heating bills. You can purchase a pre-cut jacket or blanket for about $20. You’ll also need two people for this project. Before you start, turn off the water heater. Wrap the blanket around the water heater and tape it to temporarily keep it in place. If necessary, use a marker to note the areas where the controls are so you can cut them out. Once the blanket is positioned correctly tape it permanently in place, then turn the water heater back on. If you have an electric water heater, do not set the thermostat above 130 degrees, which can cause overheating.
Another easy project is applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical wiring and plumbing, which can save energy and money. There are many different types of caulking compounds available, but the most popular choice is silicone. Silicone caulk is waterproof, flexible and won’t shrink or crack. Before applying new caulk, clean and remove any old caulk or paint. The area should be dry before you apply the new caulk. Apply the caulk in one continuous stream, and make sure it sticks to both sides of the crack or seam. use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk, then wipe the surface with a dry cloth.