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6 ways to stay warm and save money this winter

November 04, 2009 18:54 IST

These DIY projects before wintertime reduce home energy use and save you money, according to home improvement retailer Lowe's.

With colder weather and more families spending time indoors, here are a few easy and affordable do-it-yourself projects that will help reduce your family's energy consumption and save you money in no time.

Savings below are estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

1. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs: Save $70 (Rs 3,300, approximately) or more a year. Replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in every room of your home like the Energy Star® CFLs.

  • Energy and money savings: 75 percent less energy can save you $70 or more a year.
  • Why it's a smart move: Lasts up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs.

2. Insulate your water: Save $30 (Rs 1,400 approximately) or more. Wrap your water heater with insulation before cold weather strikes.

  • Energy and money savings: An insulation blanket for a water heater will reduce heat loss by 25 to 40 percent, saving you $30 or more annually.
  • Why it's a smart move: Your water heater conforms to your schedule with a timer, preventing water wastage when not in use.

3. Replace single-paned windows: Save up to $465 (Rs 21,850 approximately). Install new, nearly maintenance-free vinyl windows that boast energy-efficient features and operate smoothly for years.

  • Energy and money savings: High-performance windows can save you an immeasurable fortune, $465 for Energy Star®-qualified models.
  • Why it's a smart move: Single-paned windows waste energy and require a lot of maintenance. Also, install insulating window treatments like cellular shades to retain heat in winter and keep house cooler in the summer.

4. Seal and insulate your home: Save up to $200 (Rs 9,400 approximately) a year. Sealing and insulating your home maximises comfort and warmth during colder months and will save you money.

  • Energy and money savings: Insulating your home with weatherisation products such as insulation, weather stripping and waterproof caulk can save you $200 a year on utility bills
  • Why it's a smart move: Using caulk and spray can seal leaks, especially in attics and crawl spaces, around ducts, pipes, wires, vents and even open wall tops

5. Install a programmable thermostat: Save about $180 (Rs 8,500 approximately) a year. Caring for the environment need not be costly. For $29 (Rs 1,350 approximately), install a programmable thermostat and set it to automatically lower the temperature at bedtime by 7 degrees.

  • Energy and money savings: Programmable thermostats can save about $180 a year on home energy bills when used properly.
  • Why it's a smart move: Some models include programmable day and night temperatures as well as a setting for every day of the week

6. Replace old appliances: Save up to 15 percent on utility bills. Standard, old models are not as energy-efficient as you might think.

  • Energy and money savings: Installing Energy Star® appliances can save up to 15 percent on the average home's monthly utility bill because they use 10 to 70 percent less energy than standard models
  • Why it's a smart move: The energy saved every year using an Energy Star® clothes washer is enough to run your TV for nearly two months.