Simple DIY Projects That Save Money and Energy

By: Natalie Morris, Contributing Writer
In: Necessary home improvements
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I don’t know about you, but when I see the words “simple” and “savings” combined I get a big smile on my face. Maybe it’s just my inner couch potato rearing her ugly head but the easier a do-it-yourself project, the better as far as I’m concerned. Put that together with cost savings of any kind and I might just pass out. I’m only slightly exaggerating.

Simply deciding to take on a major home addition or kitchen remodel takes a great deal of thought and energy. Then the real work starts.

If you’re looking for simple DIY projects to complete quickly before winter hits, why not focus on projects that can make your home more energy efficient and save money into the future?

Simple DIY projects = Less Money, Less Energy Usage

- Save money and energy by … taking a second look at your insulation

It’s not glamorous, but new insulation could change your life! Okay, probably not but the industry becomes more and more sophisticated every year. New insulation can make your home more energy efficient and reduce your heating and cooling bills significantly. Add it, replace it, upgrade it and you’ll definitely see savings.

- Save money and energy by … adding window sunscreens

Window sunscreens or solar screens closely resemble standard screens, but block light and glare by stopping the sun’s rays before they hit the window itself. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately 40% of unwanted heat in your home comes in through your windows. Solar screens cut that heat significantly and cut your cooling bill naturally, as well.

- Save money and energy by … focusing on weather sealing

You’d be surprised by all of the tiny cracks and crevices where air can sneak in – and out – of your home. Carefully check all of your windows, doors, attics, foundation, and vents and then caulk, seal, or weatherstrip as necessary. As my dad used to say, you’re not trying to air-condition or heat the whole neighborhood!

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  1. 2 Responses to “Simple DIY Projects That Save Money and Energy”

  2. Jacqueline
    Sep 30, 2009

    The concept of solar screens is appealing, and my home is fairly new, I would like to know if we have standard screens or solar screens now.

    Is there an easy way to tell if my home’s existing window screens are solar screens?

  3. Natalie Morris
    Sep 30, 2009

    Sure, Jacqueline! The most obvious feature of solar screens is that they cover the entire glass of your window. Standard window screens would only cover the area of the window that can slide open.

    Typically, solar screens also look significantly darker than regular screens, although I’ve also seen them in shades that match a house’s exterior paint.

    Check out some examples at http://solarscreensolutions.com/photos.html.

    Depending on the window configuration of your home, one option is to put solar screens only on windows that receive significant sun exposure. That’s what my husband and I decided to do.

    The front of our home faces south and receives the brunt of the Arizona sun throughout the year. Our east and west exposures are nicely covered by trees, so we installed solar shades only on our front windows.

    The front of the house feels cooler and we’ve definitely saved money on our monthly electricity bills, especially during the summer when the savings can reach into the hundreds!

    Good luck with your own DIY projects!

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