New Year’s resolutions: the 1st of the year and you set yourself up for some lofty and some obtainable goals, but this year don’t forget about your home.
While New Year’s resolutions are often about self-improvement, we’re adding some home improvement to our list this year. Mark these down as two resolutions you can keep.
1. Cut down your bills (and your carbon footprint too)
When people think of going green and energy saving, they often think too big like solar panels.
There are so many small and simple home improvement projects that save you money and energy consumption.
- Turn off the lights. Don’t forget your mom’s advice and turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Unplug electronics. While not in use, unplug your electronics. It’s so simple to leave items plugged in because of habit, especially phone chargers. According to the U.S. Energy Department, these chargers are continually drawing power, even when no device is connected to them. In fact, it’s estimated that the average charger is consuming .26 watts of energy when not in use and 2.24 watts even when a fully charged device is connected to it.
- Dodge-drafts. Check weather-stripping around your storm door and windows. This is a quick and easy replacement that can block drafts and cut energy use. If you have drafty windows, add storm windows for immediate results.
2. Make sure you can take a breath of fresh air.
Your home make look great, but make sure it’s safe to take in a breath of fresh air. Odorless and poisonous gasses are on top of the home improvement check list to ensure your new year is safe.
- Do a radon check. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this colorless, odorless gas causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe. It’s estimated that one in 15 homes have elevated radon levels. Radon test kits cost around $20 and can be found at most hardware stores.
- Carbon Monoxide checks. Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector on every floor in addition to fire detectors. A small investment of around $40 for these can save your life.
- Let in the breeze. While spring and summer feel a long way away, you can get a jump on prep. Adding a storm door or retractable screen door are great home improvement projects that you’ll be thankful for in the spring and summer. Adding either of these gives you the freedom and flexibility toturn off the AC and let in the breeze, keeping your home more comfortable and cutting down on your energy usage.