4 DIY Energy Saving Projects To Start The New Year

Jan 31 2023
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With winter here, and bills going through the roof because of the incredible cold we see here in Minnesota, its always a time when we start thinking of ways to save more energy. There are more inexpensive things that we can do just to help with the cold. Even really good energy saving windows we can cover with plastic to give us a whole other extra wind break. We still use our electric heat even though our pellet stove does the bulk of our home heating. With that in mind though I always add an extra layer before turning it up!

Living in the coldest spot in the nation during the January 2018 polar vortex in northern Minnesota. Horses water, being sure to stay safe and warm.
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It’s the start of a new year, meaning it’s the start of a whole year of new DIY projects. Now, a lot of people hate the idea of resolutions and think they’re a load of rubbish. But, I think they’re a nice excuse to set some personal goals for the next twelve months – especially if you’re doing up a home. It’s an opportunity to stand back, reflect, and consider the best DIY projects to tackle in the coming months.

Obviously, a whole wave of ideas presents themselves to you. Where do you start? How do you begin to come up with new project goals? I find it helpful to think about what areas of your home are the most important. In this day and age, your first thoughts will drift toward the idea of saving energy.

Look, we all know that energy bills are pretty steep right now – it costs a lot to, well, survive and live comfortably! So, it makes a lot of sense to prioritize home improvements designed to help you save energy. What a lot of homeowners don’t know is that loads of energy-saving projects can be done all by yourself without the need for professional help.

With that in mind, what are you waiting for? Here are some DIY energy-saving projects to kickstart the new year:

Install a solar generator

Realistically, you can’t install a solar system all by yourself. Plus, they’re very expensive and you may need to severely alter your roof to get the panels up there. Most people think this rules out the idea of using solar energy to reduce your electricity consumption in the home – but they’re wrong.

It turns out you can get your hands on portable solar generators that supply you with free energy. They take in solar energy, convert it to electricity, and can be hooked up to various devices in your home. One smart idea is to get the best solar generator for refrigerator usage and use that to power this device in your kitchen. Just like that, one of the most energy-sapping things in your home runs on clean energy.

As a bonus, solar generators can be moved around with you. If you’re an avid camper, bring it with you on camping trips to get an instant electricity supply without spending any money at the campsite.

Insulate your water heater/pipes

If you have a hot water tank, it can lose a lot of heat during the colder months. As the water inside heats up, the cold outside means heat can escape. You end up in a horrible situation where more energy is needed to ensure the water remains hot.

Think about how long the cold weather can go on – it lasts months!

That means you’re using up loads of energy just to keep the water at a nice temperature. The good news is that there’s a simple DIY fix for this. All you have to do is insulate your water heater and the hot water pipes nearby.

This sounds tricky…is it tricky? Nope, it’s one of the easiest things you will do. Just head online and search for a water heater insulating blanket kit. Basically, this is a thick sheet of insulative material (normally foamlike) that can be cut to fit your heater. Wrap it around and tape it together and viola; your heater is now insulated. Less heat will escape, meaning it requires less energy to supply your home with hot water.

A similar approach can be done with the pipes, only you use insulative tubes to fit around them.

Install storm windows

Do you constantly feel like loads of cold air comes through your windows?

Firstly, check that they’re closed fully. Yes, I know, you’re not idiots! But, I sometimes think my windows are closed when really they’re just slightly on the latch to help ventilate the house. If yours are completely closed and you still feel cold air coming through, here’s a tip that will work wonders.

Purchase and install storm windows. You can do this on the outside or inside of your house – or both, it depends on how bad your current windows are. They’re easy to install and require mounting more than anything.

The idea is that they provide an extra barrier of resistance to the cold weather, insulating your windows and stopping heat from escaping. It’s far cheaper than replacing your windows – but you may want to consider that if yours are seriously degraded.

Plus, storm windows aren’t permanent fixtures. Remove them when it gets hot to keep your house nice and cool in the summer.

Use caulk to reseal seams

Talking about your windows, one reason they leak heat is that the seals start to go around the frames. If you have double or triple-glazed windows, storm windows aren’t necessary. Instead, you should get some caulk and use it to reseal the seams.

It’s a really cost-effective way to improve the energy-saving capabilities of your home. Do it on all of your windows if you notice any gaps or leakages in the seams.

In a similar vein, you can find things like weatherstrip tape that blocks gaps around your doors. Do you know when you close a door there is sometimes a gap around the edge, particularly at the bottom? Weatherstrip tape can stick to the door and seal up all gaps, stopping more heat from escaping.

Draft excluders work in a similar way for all of the interior doors as well – they help you trap heart inside a room when it’s nice and warm.

It’s not the longest list of ideas in the world, but it doesn’t need to be. The point is that you have four DIY projects to tackle, all of which will help you save energy this year. To make things even better, none of the projects are difficult or require loads of work. If we’re being honest, you can probably tackle them all over a weekend. Perhaps you should consider doing them this weekend if you have a few spare hours.

because of the incredible cold we see here in Minnesota, its always a moment when we start thinking of ways to save more energy.
(This is a contributed post, for more information about our compensation please read our disclosure policy)

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