1. Install a programmable thermostat
According to Energy Star the average household can save $180 each year in energy costs by installing a programmable thermostat and setting it to 70 degrees for 6 hours a day and 62 degrees for the remainder. Programmable thermostat prices range from $25 -$100 dollars http://www.energystar.gov/
2. Install motion sensor switches.
Do you keep your porch light on for safety reasons? What if the kids leave the basement light on for days at a time? In Denver a light bulb costs about 7 cents a day to stay lit, it may not seem like much but it can add up quickly. Buy a simple conversion switch that will fit in any light socket for as little as $10
3. Turn down the temperature on your water heater
According to the US Department of Energy you can save from 3 – 5% on your energy bill by simply turning the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees and it costs you NOTHING! http://www.energysavers.gov/
4. Clean your outdoor furniture
Whether you’re getting your outdoor furniture out of storage or you’ve left it out all winter it probably needs a good cleaning. I recommend you use a product specifically designed for outdoor furniture. I like the CLR brand of outdoor furniture cleaner (http://www.jelmar.com/CLRoutdoor.htm). It can be used on everything from wood, to vinyl, to rattan and wrought iron. It can also be used to clean your cushions and covers. It also has UV protectants which will protect your furniture from the fading and discoloration caused by the sun.
5. Organize your garage
If you’re spending more time looking for things in your garage than you are using them it’s probably time to get organize. Before you dive in go through all your items and sort them by category. Some suggestions are: Auto Care, Painting, Lawn & Garden, Sporting Equipment & Tools (plumbing, electrical, etc.). Once you have everything in a category put small items in a clear storage tote and label. When storing your items be sure you store all the items in a category together. Be sure items you need to access frequently are easy to get to. You’ll be ready to go for your next project. Take all the items you no longer need and donate them to your local Habitat for Humanity Home Improvement Outlet. http://www.habitatoutlet.org/
6. Fix those leaky faucets.
A faucet that is leaking just 5 drops every 30 seconds wastes 300 gallons of water a year. Currently a gallon of water in Denver costs $1.91 that’s $573 a year or $47.75 a month! A complete faucet repair kit at Ace Hardware is under $15.00.
7. Replace the caulk around your tubs and showers
The caulk around your tub and shower prevents water from leaking and damaging the walls and floors. Often you won’t become aware of a problem until the damage is extensive. A decent caulk gun and tube of caulk will cost you less the $20 but a call to a plumber to figure out the problem and a handywoman to repair the damage can easily add up to $200 or more.
Learn to do all this yourself!
Learn to repair your faucet in our upcoming Plumbing 101 class, offered Tuesday June 16th from 9 am – Noon and again on Wednesday June 17th from 6 pm – 9 pm. Learn how to install a motion detector switch in our Electrical Basics class, offered 2 Tuesdays June 9th & 23rd from 9 am – Noon and again on 2 Wednesdays, June 10th & 24th from 6 pm – 9 pm.
Workshop for Women, LLC, Workshop for Women offers fun hands-on classes in basic home improvement skills especially designed for women. If you’d like register for a class or more about our other classes give Judy a call at, 303-284-6354 or visit our website http://www.workshopforwomen.com/.