This past year was one of many different projects I completed to make my old 1910 home a little more energy efficient.
When we had a heat wave during the summer, I finally got around to unsticking a window that had been painted shut since I moved in. I Googled how to do it. I needed a putty knife, a short 2 by 4 and a hammer. I had to be careful not to hit the glass: I stuck the putty knife in the very small space between the windowpane and the sill. I gently tapped the handle of the putty knife with the hammer until it couldn’t go any farther. I did this all along the sill. Once I did that, I laid the 2 by 4 down on the sill and gently tapped the edge of it with the hammer to loosen the windowpane. I gave the window a push and it opened. It didn’t take that long, maybe five minutes as the most.
Avista’s Energy Guide says that if I keep my dryer exhaust vent clean my clothes will dry faster, cutting down on my dryer use. I turned off the power to the dryer and turned on the vacuum cleaner. I not only vacuumed inside the machine, but I made sure to check the hose for lint and vacuumed it. While I was there, I checked it to make sure there weren’t any holes in it.
I think I was probably most proud of installing a smart switch for my living room. I used a Philips screwdriver to undo the mechanism of the old switch. With the wires free, I could connect them to the new switch. Once I was done with that, I pushed the wires into the box, made sure the switch was turned the right way and screwed it into the wall. I turned the power back on and it lit up the correct color according to the directions. This project was fairly easy if you want to try it yourself, but safety first. I can’t stress this enough: before you do anything, make sure you turn off the power.
I learned how to do many of these projects on Avista’s website. It was a busy year of home improvement and I’m looking forward to doing more projects in 2022.
Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.