A survey conducted by “Money” magazine and Lowe’s found that out of 21 common projects, energy updates gave DIYers the most satisfaction, given the time and money. Get some satisfaction this week by implementing one or two of these easy energy savers at your Santa Cruz County home:
1. Add dimmers: If every home in the U.S replaced two standard light switches with a dimmer, we could save $1.5 billion in electricity.
2. Recycle rechargeable batteries, plastic bags and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs): It’s as easy as taking them to your local Lowe’s Recycling Center. Simply drop the items in the bins near the store’s entrance.
3. Stop energy leaks: Seal all holes and cracks in your Santa Cruz County home. Add weather stripping or caulk to leaky doors and windows. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates these changes can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs.
4. Wrap up your water heater: Cover your water heater with an insulating jacket.
5. Install a programmable thermostat: By lowering the temperature in your Santa Cruz County home slightly while you’re at work or on vacation, the thermostat saves you up to $180 a year.
6. Repair Leaky Toilets: According to the EPA, a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day. Depending how much you’re charged for water, a leaky toilet could add as much as $400 a year to your water bill. Check for leaks by putting food coloring in the tank. If you have a leak, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. Flush as soon as you're done with this test to avoid staining the bowl.
7. Use a power strip: Save electricity and more than $500 over five years by plugging devices with standby power, such as TVs and stereos, into a power strip. When not in use, you can turn them all off at once by turning off the power strip.
Saving energy not only helps the environment, it also lowers your expenses considerably.