Happy Energy Awareness month! Have you often wondered how you can keep your home warm in the winter and save money? Now that winter is officially only a few months away, and the country has experienced its first winter storm, there is no better time than now to get your home in tip top shape for colder weather, all while saving money and being as green and eco-friendly as possible. We enlisted the expert and called upon Pat Simpson who has been hosting DIY shows since before the home and garden channel even existed to share with us his TOP picks for brightening up your home just in time for colder weather.
Trusted DIY expert and television personality Pat Simpson with eco-friendly DIY tips just in time for winter! Image courtesy of PatSimpson.com.
Candace Rose: The thought of actually completing a DIY project can be overwhelming for those of us who are beginners. Is there hope for us?
Pat Simpson: “Of course there is. There’s hope for me, there’s hope for you! DIY projects can be overwhelming, just start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. The main thing is do research, do your homework first. Start with a smaller project and work your way up. If it’s electrical or plumbing, you may want to stay away from that, but at least if you do your homework you’ll know what to expect when the electrician comes in and when the plumber comes in. So start small and work your way big.”
Candace Rose: What would be a good project for beginners?
Pat Simpson: “Well, this time of year because it is Energy Awareness Month, and it is almost wintertime – we’re right around the corner, I think you can probably make your home more energy efficient and keep that warm air inside, use less energy and think green while you’re doing this. Now there’s a lot of heat that escapes from your home up through your pull down staircase. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this product or not but this is from Duck brand it’s called the Attic Stairway Cover. What this is, is this is an insulated fabric and literally within a few seconds of assembly it creates a dome. You take this dome into the attic, you set it right over the opening where your stairs pull down and it keeps all of that warm air from escaping through that opening. Even when the stairs are closed, the heat will still go through. It keeps the heat in your house instead of in the attic where it doesn’t belong. Again, the Attic Stairway Cover from Duct brand.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything else we can do to keep warm air in and cold air out?
Pat Simpson: “We always look for new products that are very innovative and has a WOW factor to it, well we found it with this product – this is Roxul batt insulation (see video above). It’s made from rocks. It’s really incredible how they do this, they melt the rocks, they create a molten lava, then they spin it – it’s very similar to what you would do to cotton candy, and it creates the batt insulation. It’s fire resistant, it’s water repellent, it can be used on ceilings and in walls, it’s very affordable, and it’s available at Lowes and Home Depot (the box stores). It’s easily accessible too. It doesn’t itch like the old fiberglass insulation, so you don’t have that same scratching when you’re installing it. So look for that by name as well, it’s called Roxul.”
Candace Rose: Can we do anything else to make our home look great and still be as green as possible?
Pat Simpson: “You can. Lighting will do a lot for your house, and you can save energy by using the right kind of lights. Here’s an example, this is an incandescent light bulb (see video above) you want to get rid of these, Candace and replace them with these – this is a CFL, a compact fluorescent light and they’re going to use less energy and keeping your power bill lower. They have instant on – they don’t flicker anymore like they used to, and they come in a variety of colors. They’re very efficient lighting as well, it throws the light better and they come in different power levels. So replace the old incandescent with the CFL and you’re going to save money on the power bill and use a lot less energy too.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Pat Simpson: “Well you can go to the websites that we look at regularly, and we visit regularly, and it’ll cover these products and a whole lot more. If you go to DIYwithRoxul.com, and also DuckBrand.com you’ll find out about all of these and a whole lot more.”