According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in 1997 the average house spent over $1300 in energy costs. 44% of those costs, or about $600, came from heating and cooling. Yet, by setting the thermostat down just one degree a home could, over an eight-hour period, reduce energy costs by 1%. Doesn't sound like much? Look at the math: If you set the thermostat back by 10 degrees for the eight nighttime sleeping hours, and did this for a whole month you could lower your monthly bill by 10 percent. Do the same for the eight hours you're at work and you're looking at 20 percent. For the average home this could mean a $20 savings on the monthly heating costs with similar savings for the cooling season. A programmable thermostat can ensure those savings and pay for itself in one season.
If you’ve ever unsuccessfully tried to get grass to grow in the small bare spots in your lawn, you probably made the mistake of not properly preparing the soil. Grass seed needs a lodging spot in order to hold itself in place and protect it against washing rain, drying sun and wind. Use your garden trowel or hoe to work up the upper layer of soil before laying down the seed. A power cultivator will enable you to prepare larger areas.