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DIY Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Upgrading your Northwest Florida home to be more “green” doesn’t have to take a lot of time, or money.  In fact, there are several relatively quick and inexpensive fixes that you can do yourself.  Here’s a short list of minor modifications that you can do in a single weekend.

  • Replace Your Shower head

This should take you about 15 minutes, and cost $10-$60 per showerhead.  When you’re shower head shopping, make sure you look for the WasterSense label, which could save over 2300 gallons a year!

  • Replace Your Faucet Aerator

Overlooked and under appreciated, this small metal piece can save you big bucks.  By purchasing a low-flow aerator, you’ll maintain adequate water pressure, but use less than half as much water.  In fact, this simple upgrade could conserve about 500 gallons of water a year!  A single aerator should cost about $2-10 and take five minutes to install.

  • Water Efficient Toilet

This one is for the handier individual who is on a first-name basis with the employees at the local Home Depot.  Again, look for the WaterSense label and save an average of $90/year on your water bill.

  • Florescent Light Bulbs

There’s a good chance you’ve already switched from standard bulbs to compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs, but just in case, I’m including it on the list.  Energy Star bulbs use 75% less electricity and can last 10 times longer!

  • Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat usually has only a few wires involved, but if you’re unsure, call a professional.  The job should take about 30 minutes, but the thermostat could cost anywhere from $25-250, depending on which one you get.  This upgrade is an automatic way to reduce/increase heating and cooling throughout the day, adding up to about $180/year in savings.

  • Stop Chimney Drafts

Did you know that even with the damper closed, you’re probably losing air through your chimney flue?  Plugging the flue with a chimney balloon, such as the Draftstopper, will cost you about $55 and 15 minutes.

  • Drain Sediment from the Water Heater

After a while, minerals and tiny rocks build up in the bottom of your tank.  To ensure that your water heater is working properly and lasts as long as possible, attach a hose to the bottom faucet and drain the water into a bucket or outside.  Do this until the water begins running clear and sediment free (about 15 minutes).  Here’s a tip:  If your water heater sounds like a coffee pot, it’s time to drain.

  • Replace Hoses

This applies to the washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser, etc.  Check the hoses once a year for cracking, rusting, bulging, fraying, and leaking.

  • Add Insulating Window Treatments

Thermal window coverings more than double the insulating value of a double paned, low-emittance window.


Now that your home is more energy efficient, you can sit back and save money.  While you’re at it, contact Kerry Veach if you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in Northwest Florida.

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