Want to save money on your energy bill this year? I could sit here and tell you all about how much help new energy efficient windows would be, but today I've got some different tips for you.
While often neglected, the attic and basement are two rooms where you can make huge energy savings with a little DIY attention. Following are some energy-efficiency tips for your attic and basement.
- If you’re installing a new roof, make sure it has good ventilation to allow heat and moisture to escape. This will cut cooling costs during summer, prolong shingle life and help ward against condensation.
- Check your attic has adequate insulation – it’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce your energy costs. A properly insulated attic can reduce your heating bill by 10 to 50 percent, and helps to cap cooling needs in summer. If your attic has less than six or seven inches of insulation, you can probably benefit from adding more. Ask at your local hardware store about which type of insulation - loose fill, blanket insulation or recycled (a green and non-itch alternative to blanket insulation) would work best in your attic.
- Insulate your basement’s interior wall to save money on heating and create a dry, comfortable living space.
- Before insulating, seal off all air leaks. In the attic, air can get in from behind and under knee walls, and around the attic hatch, wiring, pipes and recessed lights. In the basement, common air leak locations include between rim joists and under the sill plate, and around windows, wiring holes and plumbing pipes. Don’t forget to seal and insulate any heating/cooling ductwork.
- Insulate your water pipes with heat tapes. This reduces heat loss when hot water flows to your faucets and decreases standby losses when the faucet is turned on and off.
- Recycle the old working fridge, freezer or other appliance that’s sitting around in your basement. You’ll get cash rebate and save yourself up to $150 a year in energy costs. Most energy companies will pick up and recycle your old appliance for free, and drop you back your rebate. Ask your energy provider about their appliance recycling program.
- Consider installing a whole house fan in your attic. Whole house fans are far more energy efficient than air conditioners as they cool your house with natural air currents. Use your whole house fan at night or during the cooler times of the day to draw cool air through the house and exhaust warm air through the attic. Your home will then stay naturally cooler during the hotter parts of the day, without the fan. For extra efficiency, you could install a fan with a timer or variable speed motor.