Is Home Remodeling on Your Wish List for 2012?
- Household paint can release toxins into your living space for years. Instead, opt for eco-friendly house paint made of natural ingredients with reduced or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), readily available at major retailers.
- Florida, the Sunshine State, is well-suited for solar power. But if you are not ready for a major energy switch, consider using solar power to heat your swimming pool.
- Install new lighting fixtures, or just replace your old light bulbs (incandescent) with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs).
Although energy-saving items and appliances may cost a little more upfront, the dollars and natural resources you save could make a big difference. Take a look at some of the home energy hogs in your home that are simple to remedy.
- Replace old shower heads and faucets with high-efficiency models to save water.
- Pre-1994 toilets use up to 8 gallons of water for each flush, but newer high-efficiency ones can reduce water usage by nearly 75 percent.
- Check weather stripping on doors and caulking on windows, to see if they need to be replaced.
- Even if you have switched out all of your old-fashioned light bulbs, remember to ‘Turn off the lights!’ Or consider installing motion sensors that will turn off the lights, even when you forget.
Most local utility providers offer in-home energy efficiency surveys, plus provide rebates for making energy-saving improvements to your home. Even small changes can help reduce both your energy bills and carbon footprint.
Use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) online household emissions calculator to help estimate your current energy use, and find out more ways to reduce and save.