You don’t need a professional to make some great upgrades to your home that will also lower your bills. Here are five DIY home improvements that will save you money over time without needing to call a contractor.
Weatherstrip Windows And Doors
Leaky windows and doors can increase your energy bills dramatically. Weatherstripping your windows and doors is a fairly easy DIY solution that can save over 20 percent off of your heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
There are several options for weatherstripping, so be sure to check the department’s site and familiarize yourself with what’s available and what fits your home’s needs before you start the project.
DIY Cost: ~$254
Potential Annual Savings: $166
Not only is water a precious resource, but you’re also paying for your use of it. There are several ways that you can easily decrease your water usage with simple DIY improvements.
First, change out your current shower heads for low flow showerheads. While the standard shower head typically uses 2.5 gallons per minute, low flow heads use 2 gallons per minute or less. That adds up quickly. Low flow setups are so well designed that you’ll barely notice a difference when showering, but you will in your annual water savings.
DIY Cost: ~$20
Potential Annual Savings: $135 (based on a family of four)
It’s also a good idea to use low flow toilets. If you’re not savvy with plumbing, this can be a harder job to undertake. A simple hack to decrease water usage with each flush is to simply place a full 20-ounce water bottle in the tank of your toilet. The bottle displaces water so that the toilet draws less with each flush. Easy!
Upgrade Your Insulation
Upgrading your home’s insulation can save you money on heating and cooling costs while increasing the value of your home in the long run. You can choose to upgrade the insulation in your attic, garage, and basement. Focusing on the attic will have the most impact.
There are several different types of insulation that offer various benefits and value for the money. Be sure to read this guide to help you take on this project.
If your home doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, you should seriously consider installing one. Depending on your level of expertise, this project is more involved than the previous ones but is still doable even for the novice DIYer.
Programmable thermostats enable your home to automatically adjust energy output during certain times of day, like when you’re not home and while you’re sleeping. It’s a great addition to your efforts in reducing summer cooling costs and winter heating costs.
DIY Cost: ~$25-$144 (depending on thermostat model)
Potential Annual Savings: $180
5) Protect Your Savings With Home Security
If you’re paying high premiums for home owner’s insurance, consider installing a home security system. Most insurance plans offer a large discount for homes that have professionally monitored security systems.
You can install a recommended DIY home security system that offers professional monitoring for a monthly fee. Some of the companies offer one year of monitoring free with the purchase of the security kit. Of course, weigh the annual insurance savings against the cost of security to see what you save. You can opt-out of professional monitoring, but check with your insurance company if you’ll still qualify for a discount without it.
DIY Cost: $99-$400 (cost of security kit, which varies) + $15-$45 monthly monitoring fee
Potential Annual Savings: 20 percent off your insurance premium