We found the following 5 do-it-yourself home eco fixes from Brian Clark Howard. These are all really simple and painless changes that you can make to both save money and save energy.
The little spiral-shaped bulbs known as compact fluorescents use less than a third of the energy of regular bulbs and last ten times longer, paying for themselves in lower energy bills within months. If every U.S. household replaced just 1 regular bulb with a CFL, the amount of energy saved could light 2.5 million homes for a year. The good news is CFLs now come in a variety of colors and styles, including in flood lights, like the one here.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Hot water heaters are huge energy and dollar guzzlers. Lowering the temperature on yours from 140 to 120 degrees will reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10%. Give it a try. Many people find that tweaking the dial to save energy and money can become addictive.
Unplug Unused Chargers
Even when they aren’t charging anything, plugged-in cell phone, laptop and other chargers continue to draw electricity. Americans throw away about 8% of our annual electric bills this way, wasting billions of dollars.
The solution is simple: just unplug them, or plug them into a surge protector and flip that switch when your device has pulled enough juice.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Make your life easier, and cut down on potential arguments over the temperature, by installing a programmable thermostat. It allows much finer control over where the heating is set and always ‘remembers’ to turn down the heat at night, so the average family will save $150 a year, according to the EPA.
Programmable models can be had at most home improvement and hardware stores for $50 to $100. They are easy to install with the instructions (or are a very quick task for a professional). Get peace of mind and lower bills.
Use Low-VOC Paint in Your Bedroom
Conventional paints release “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) – think ‘new paint’ smell — that cause potentially dangerous indoor air pollution. Keep where you sleep free of VOCs by applying a fresh coat of one of the new, low or VOC-free paints now readily available in great colors by major manufacturers.