|Here in Virginia, summer heat can be an issue. If you also live in a place where the summer heat blazes, this time of year can mean substantially higher energy costs. Here are four low-cost, high-impact changes you can make on your own to save money and keep your home more comfortable this summer. You're welcome!
#1. Clean your window sills
Did you know that a few seasons worth of dirt and soot can prevent your windows from closing all the way? I didn't. But, even a little air getting in can make your AC less efficient and raise your electric bill. Drafty windows are the top energy leak in a typical home, accounting for up to 25% of a home's energy loss.
Cost: $0-5 (cleaning spray and paper towels)
DIY level: Easy. You can even make this a chore for the kids! I tried to get my dog to help me, but he wasn't interested...lol. Let's move on.
#2. Install a door sweep
A common place where air leaks occur is under the door leading into the house. They are often not sealed very well. So, consider installing a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent cold air from escaping your home.
Cost: $10-15 (per door)
DIY level: Easy. Use a drill to make holes in the door and screws to attach the sweep.
#3. Caulk your windows
Window air leakage can be reduced by applying a continuous bead of caulk around the window trim where it meets the wall. Make sure the caulk is intended for indoor use and can be painted.
Cost: $3-5 (caulk)
DIY level: Medium. Caulk can get messy, so go slow. Trust me on this.
#4. Check your ducts
Ducts are used to distribute AC and heat throughout houses with forced-air systems. Air can be lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. Check all the ducts you can access, including those in the attic, crawlspace, or garage. Look for holes and tears, and seal them using mastic or metal tape.
DIY level: Medium. It's just taping, but you'll likely be dealing with tight spaces and a few bugs.
I hope this 4 DIY suggestions help you save a little money this summer. Be sure to let me know if you tried any of these tips. Have a wonderful summer... stay cool!