If you are the type of person who likes to roll up your sleeves and doesn’t mind getting a bit dirty, there are plenty of opportunities to make your home safer, healthier and more energy efficient with some simple and cost-effective do-it-yourself projects. Read on for some great ways to get into the action around your own home!
Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
Poor or insufficient insulation in your home can lead to energy loss and increased energy bills. What you might not know is that the same is true of your hot water heater. For approximately $20, you can reduce your water heating costs by up to 9 percent in just one hour. This is particularly important for older hot water tanks.
Seal the Garage Ceiling
If you have an unconditioned garage – meaning there is no central air flow – there should be a layer of insulation between the garage and the rooms above. Not only can this increase your home’s overall energy efficiency, but it can also protect your family from pollutants like car exhaust.
You can accomplish this insulation project over the course of an afternoon. Remember: when dealing with fiberglass insulation, safety is key. Wear proper protective eye and face covering, as well as long sleeves, pants and gloves.
Paint to Prevent Water Damage and Mold
If you’re handy with a paint brush, you can potentially save thousands of dollars in water and mold damage to your home. A new coat of paint on your home’s exterior not only looks great, but is also an important first line of defense from damaging outdoor elements.
Pay particular attention to removing and repainting trim around windows and doors, especially if the existing paint is blistered or peeling. While this may be a full weekend project, the relatively low cost of a few gallons of paint will result in a cost-effective way to update your home’s exterior.
Replace Old Electrical Outlets
In 2013 alone, building fires caused $9.5 billion in property damage. Between 2007 and 2011, 13 percent of home fires began with an electrical issue. There are some simple DIY steps to help prevent electrical fires in your home.
In as little as a few minutes, you can replace a two-pronged outlet with three pronged outlet for about $2 each. When replacing electrical outlets, it is important to cut the power to that outlet first, using the main fuse or circuit panel.
Updating outlets is particularly important in older or historic homes. Also, be sure to check your circuit breaker for damaged switches at least once a year.