Applying Caulk

Applying caulk can get messy. Here's how to ensure a smooth, clean finished appearance:
- Choose the right caulk for your project. Do you need interior, exterior, mildew-resistant, paintable or tinted caulk?
- Cut the tip of the caulk tube at an angle. Cut the tip so that the bead of caulk will not be wider than 1/4 inch.
- For best results, before starting your project, use a scrap piece of paper to practice so you can get used to the caulk’s application rate.
- Finish off by smoothing the caulk with a slightly wet finger, damp rag, or slightly wet caulking tool; this will ensure the nicest finished appearance.
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Low-Flow Shower

Install a low-flow shower head with a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less. You'll cut your bathroom water use by 30 to 50 percent, and you'll conserve the energy required to heat the "extra" water.
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Water-Saver Toilets

When you replace a toilet, install a low-consumption model or a water saver. Standard toilets use 5 to 7 gallons per flush; "water-savers" use 3 to 4 gallons per flush; and new low-consumption models use 1.6 gallons, or less per flush. Until you replace your toilet, put a plastic bottle filled with water in the tank to cut down on water needed for a flush.
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Low-Flow Aerators

Add low-flow aerators to threaded faucets in sinks. These inexpensive devices reduce flow rates while maintaining enough force for washing and other uses.
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Water Heating Energy

Most people are surprised to learn that the second largest energy consumer in the home, after space conditioning, is water heating. Water heating uses more than 15% of the average home's total energy use. Because it is an out-of-sight energy consuming system, most forget about this major contributor to the home's energy bill. For quick savings, this is a great place to start because some minor changes that are fairly easy to make can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills.
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On Demand Hot Water

On demand electric water heaters are installed under a kitchen or bathroom sink to provide instant hot water only when needed. Because plumbing runs are short and hot water isn't heated unless it's being used, these units reduce water-heating costs. On demand water heaters also reduce plumbing costs in new construction because only cold water lines must be run to the kitchen and bathrooms.
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Dripping Faucet

Did you know that a hot water faucet leaking one drip per second wastes 200 gallons a year? Repairing leaky faucets will lower energy bills substantially.
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