Green Home Tips: DIY Home Weatherization

Looking to save energy at home? Here are some DIY home energy-saving tips:

  • Seal Air Leaks: More than 30% of the cooled and heated air escapes a house through leaky windows, doors, fireplaces, recessed lights, drain lines, vents, and electrical outlets. You can save energy with caulk, weatherstripping, and foam. It will make your home more comfortable, lower your utility bills, and reduce pest and moisture problems. Expert tip: Invest in high-quality caulk; cheap painters caulk will quickly dry out and crack.
  • Seal the Leaks in Your Ductwork: Leaky ductwork may account for as much as 30% to 50% of cooled and heated indoor air loss. Seal all joints and connections with mastic, a putty-like material available at most hardware stores. Expert tip: Don't use duct tape, which can quickly dry out; instead, use UL-181 foil tape.
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Lights Indoors and Outdoors: The easiest way to cut your energy costs is to swap regular, incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones (CFLs). Compared to regular bulbs, CFLs use 25% less energy and last 10 times longer. You can save $25 to $45 for each bulb over its lifespan. Expert tip: For a warmer quality of light, choose CFLs with a lower Kelvin rating (2,700-3,000K).
  • Maintain your heater by regularly changing the air filter.
  • Seal the leaks in your ductwork with mastic, available at most hardware stores.
  • Seal air leaks from windows, doors, fireplaces, recessed lights, drain lines, vents, and electrical outlets with weather-stripping and caulk.
  • Install high-quality insulation in walls and attics to reduce heater usage.
  • Keep the thermostat down a few degrees and get a programmable thermostat to reduce heater overuse.