Whether you are looking to sell your home or are happy where you are, improving its energy efficiency is a win-win endeavor. Energy efficient homes are more attractive to buyers and have lower energy costs for homeowners. Unfortunately, many routes to a more energy efficient home, such as installing new windows are costly and may not save you as much money as they cost. Here are five do-it-yourself ways to make some worthwhile efficiency improvements.
#2. Invest in a Blower Door test You may never have heard of these tests or seen one carried out but they are well worth the investment. Air leaks around your home can account for up to ten percent of the cost of heating your home during the winter months and cooling it during the summer. In a blower door test, specialist energy companies attach a cover over your front door within which is a large fan. By turning on the fan and creating pressure, the company can determine where air is leaking in your home. This helps you to pinpoint which areas of your home require attention.
#3. Seal gaps and Cracks Sealing various gaps and cracks around your home with caulk or expanding insulating foam is an easy DIY task. The secret is knowing where they are. Both caulking and foam should be available online or from your local hardware store. Gaps around your window frames and around your doors are the most likely areas and the air flowing through these gaps can result in spending more than you need to on heating and cooling. Sealing these gaps and racks will easily help you save back the cost of the blower door test and any caulking or foam you need to purchase.
#4. Fit weather-stripping to your window frames. Poorly sealed windows in an average-sized home can have the same impact as leaving one window permanently open. A simple and cost-effective DIY solution is to fit weather-stripping to your window frames. The most popular type of weatherstrip is adhesive-backed foam tape. Foam lasts longer than other weatherstrip materials such as felt and is better able to withstand moisture, changes in temperature and wear and tear. For casement windows, simply measure and cut the tape, remove the adhesive backing and fit it along the sides, bottom and top of the stops. Double-hung windows will require both foam tape and a V-channel, also called a Tension Seal or V-strip. Once fitted between the sash stiles and the jam, these vinyl, aluminum or steel strips are invisible but can increase the resistance when opening or closing the windows.
#5. Clean your air conditioners Properly cleaned air conditioners can reduce your electricity bills by up to five percent during summer months. Cleaning or replacing the filters on your units can help improve airflow. Using a canister of foam spray cleaner to remove the dirt between the fins of the condenser unit will help reduce the amount of energy used by your units.
#6. Rejuvenate your timber doors and window frames timber does require periodic maintenance, unlike aluminum or uPVC. if you have timber doors or timber window frames, you should invest in basic maintenance to improve your home's energy efficiency. Cover the glass panes to prevent nicks and carefully sand down the frames before staining them or painting them, depending on their existing finish. This helps preserve the wood and reduce the formation of gaps or cracks.
These five easy tips are sure to help anyone reduce the cost of heating and cooling their home. They are guaranteed to save you more money than they cost to implement, making them perfect for improving the energy efficiency of any home without breaking the bank.