1. Lose Weight (Cut Energy Use)

There are many reasons to cut your home’s energy use including saving money, reducing impact on climate change, and reducing pollution.  There are many things you can do to reduce your energy use including:

  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • close your curtains at night
  • install a thankless water heater
  • use LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • check weatherstripping and insulation,
  • install efficient shower heads and/or efficient toilets

2. Quit smoking (purify indoor air)

Poor indoor air quality can arise from many sources. At least some of the following contaminants can be found in almost any home:
  • moisture and biological pollutants, such as molds, mildew, dust mites, animal dander, and cockroaches;
  • high humidity levels, inadequate ventilation, and poorly maintained humidifiers and air conditioners;
  • combustion products, including carbon monoxide, from unvented fossil-fuel space heaters, unvented gas stoves and ovens, and back-drafting from furnaces and water heaters;
  • household products and furnishings, such as paints, solvents, air fresheners, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture, which can release volatile organic compounds
  • particulates from dust and pollen, fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and unvented gas space heaters; and
  • tobacco smoke, which produces particulates, combustion products and formaldehyde.

Here are some easy remedies:

  • Promptly clean and dry water damaged carpets, walls, and furniture
  • eliminate moisture sources, use a dehumidifier and maintain mechanical air circulation
  • Never use un-vented space heaters, and don’t smoke in your home
  • clean and vacuum regularly, wash bedding in water hotter than 130 degrees F
  • Select nonaerosol and non toxic cleaning products
  • keep all appliances properly vented,
  • never leave vehicles running in the garage
  • ventilate when using paints and solvents
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

3. Get out of debt (budget for improvements) 

Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance helps prevent overspending, and encourages you to put aside money for major replacements — such as new roofing or a kitchen appliance — that come up every few years.

Protect your home finances by knowing how much you’ll probably spend each year. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau says that average annual maintenance and home improvement expenditures are about $3,300 per household. Leading lending institutions agree; HSH Associates and LendingTree.com place average costs of yearly maintenance and upkeep at 1% to 3% of your home’s initial price.

That means the owner of a $250,000 home should budget between $2,500 to $7,500 each year for upkeep and replacements. Have extra at the end of the year? Save it for more costly upkeep and replacement items down the road — you’ll probably need it then.

5. Get organized (Make a Home Emergency Kit) 

Regardless of the type of disaster, there are many things you can do to mitigate potential property damage and make for a secure departure, should the time come, especially given some warning to evacuate safely.  And, upon returning home, we’d all like the shock to be minimized as much as possible.

Check out this article on Home Emergency Kits to get great information!