DIY Tips for Improving Home Efficiency

Published on: August 29, 2014
Contractor with toolbelt | AC Southeast®

Improving the energy efficiency of your home doesn’t have to be an expensive, complicated endeavor. Those who have been through the process understand that it all begins with your own two hands. If you are experienced with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, you will find most of these tips a breeze and will be able to complete them quickly and easily. For others, it may take some extra instruction and guidance, but you will be able to pick it up as you go.

General Strategies

  • Change out your light bulbs. Fluorescent, compact fluorescent and LED lights use 25 percent or less of the energy used by traditional incandescent bulbs. This translates into a savings of about $65 per year for the average household.
  • Caulk your windows. Leaks around windows are the number one cause of heat loss in homes, but caulking them is a simple and cost-effective solution.
  • Install shades or blinds. Bright sunlight shining through your windows to the interior of your home can cause the temperature to rise by 10 degrees or more, but window treatments are very effective at keeping your home in the shade.
  • Install weather stripping on your doors. Installing weather stripping on your doors will prevent warm air from escaping in the winter and will prevent it from entering in the summer.

Living Room and Bedrooms

  • Use ceiling fans when you are home to make you feel cooler.
  • Try using only a fan or keeping the windows open at night during the summer.
  • Put extra blankets on the bed and wear warm clothing rather than overusing the heating system in the winter.



  • Hand wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher.
  • Use only Energy Star appliances.
  • Use a microwave or toaster oven instead of the full-size oven for small dishes.

Heating and Air Conditioning Efficiency

  • Change the filter on your HVAC system every one to three months. Dust, dirt and hair gathering on the filter blocks the passage of air.
  • Keep your vents and ducts clean and free of debris. The buildup on your vents and ducts restricts air flow and degrades the quality of the air in your home. It is also a risk factor for mold growth.
  • Seal your ducts. If your ducts are leaking air inside the walls, basement, attic or crawlspaces of your home, it is not getting to the proper rooms.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will allow you to run your air conditioning at a higher temperature when you are away from home, which saves more energy than running it full blast or turning it off completely.

Find a Local Contractor

While it is possible to save a substantial amount of money through the above DIY tips, you can save even more by replacing your old HVAC system or by having it professionally maintained on a regular basis. For further information about energy efficiency and cutting summer cooling costs,
find a local contractor through AC Southeast® today.