A Place for Your Grill

Looking for a Weekend Project? Consider These 3 Energy-Efficient Projects

From laying new sod in the backyard to finally fixing that loose siding on the garage, your home improvement to-do list seems to never end. However, before you begin tackling these chores, you should consider projects that will save you money and help control your home's energy consumption. Here are three energy-efficient home improvement projects that will save you big money in the future:

Fill in the Gaps

One of the most inexpensive and effective ways to make your home more energy efficient is to identify any gaps and areas that allow drafts to flow through your home. There are several common places where air flows in and out of your home, including these:

  • the seals around your door and windows
  • pipes
  • wall and roof vents

In addition, there are other less noticeable places where cool or warm air can enter your house. These include around outdoor spigots and where the electrical and gas lines enter your home.

Fill the gaps and cracks with a caulk made especially for the particular substance you're sealing. For example, there are caulks made for use on brick, wood, glass, or metal. Scrape away any existing caulk and clean the area with a wet rag before filling the gap or crack with a new line of caulk. For wider cracks or gaps, run two lines of caulk.

When it comes to your doors and windows, replace the existing weather stripping. Over time, weather stripping begins to degrade and crack, which allows drafts to enter your home.

Invest in a Tankless Water Heater

According to Angie's List, a typical, traditional storage water heater will last anywhere from eight to 12 years. If your water heater is getting older or you simply want a more energy-efficient option, a tankless water heater is the best bet. A tankless water heater can be installed in a matter of hours, and, unlike a traditional model, you won't ever have to worry about running out of hot water while in the shower!

In addition to providing you with a steady stream of hot water and saving you big money on your monthly electric bill, here are a few additional reasons to consider a tankless water heater:

  • Traditional water heaters feature tanks that can store stagnant water for several hours or days. During this time, calcium and lime scale buildup with cause discolorations and noticeable impurities. Tankless heaters don't store water, which cuts down on this unwanted buildup.
  • Because there isn't any lime scale or calcium buildup in them, tankless water heaters typically last longer than the older, traditional models.
  • Tankless water heaters typically take up less space than a storage water heater model. Most tankless heaters are mounted on the wall, either inside or outside of your home.

Check a website like http://www.firstclassplumbinginc.com to learn more about tankless water heaters and how to get them installed.

Install a New Front Door 

Finally, there is one additional DIY project that can save you money on your energy bills and also improve your home's curb appeal: a new front door. However, before you assume that a wood door is the best option, Consumer Reports recommends choosing a unit constructed from fiberglass or steel.

Like wood, fiberglass and steel materials are both durable and available in several colors. However, steel and fiberglass provide more insulation than wood does. In addition, both steel and fiberglass do not require as much maintenance as wood, and both of these materials are typically less expensive.

While shopping around for a new front door, it's best to choose a model that doesn't feature glass for the most energy efficiency. However, if you like the look of glass, choose a door that features double- or triple-panel insulating glass. These will provide the most protection against the elements.

From fitting your home with a stylish new front door to investing in tankless water heaters, there are several energy-efficient home-improvement projects that you can complete in a single weekend.