Clark Howard offers Jennie Garlington more money-saving suggestions around the home on weather stripping and light bulbs. For more everyday ways to save the environment and save money at the same time, visit Jennie at EcoSense for Living. (SaltRun Productions, Inc.)


Jennie: EcoSense for living.  Everyday ways to save the environment and save money at the same time. 

Clark:   This house was built in the 80’s.  So these windows are extremely inefficient.  They just bled energy in and out.  When it was cold outside, you knew it in here.  When it was hot outside, you knew it right here.  So instead of replacing the windows, which is outrageously expensive, all we did simply was very inexpensive caulk around these windows –

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- and it’s made an enormous difference.  I can stand right here on the coldest day and I don't feel the cold, or on the hottest day, I don't feel it unless there’s solar heat gain.  And speaking of ways to save money with something that you can't afford to replace, no way would I pay for new doors.  But it was very easy to retrofit these doors.  You see, down here what I did is I added a little piece of weather stripping.  And these doors, you used to just feel the blast of cold air–

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- or heat, depending on the time of the year.  And then for the top and all the way down here, I added this tack strip here, that you put in the metal here and then you feel this foam right here that seals all the air, and then you have a really, really tight seal.

Jennie:   And what would it cost you to do this?

Clark:   This?  Somewhere between $10 and $20 total.  This is the third sealing you can do, which is almost like a foam rubber that you add a foam strip up the door, and so it gives you a seal where the door closes.  So all the way around it’s completely tight.  You can buy this stuff at really any hardware store, and like that install it and make a big difference in your home for years. 

Jennie:   So Clark, I hear your wife Elaine is not a big advocate of fluorescent light bulbs.  Can you guys talk to me about that?

Clark:   No, she’s not, but she’s reforming.  I am so into it, because you save so much money.  You know, the money that people waste in their homes, light bulbs are one of the greatest ways to go, because people are still using light bulbs that are 1880 inventions instead of the year 2000+ inventions.  And the compact fluorescents do everything right.

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The color’s good now.  They’re cheap to buy.  And they’re incredibly cheap to run.

Lane: They are better.  You know, we used to have the bulb wars and we finally had a compromise where I would get all of the lamps, and he would get the overheads and he’d put the fluorescents up there.  But I have to say that I think now the technology’s much better, and these newer generation it’s a better color, it’s warmer.  And when I flip the switch it doesn’t take, you know, two or three minutes to actually heat up and turn on and brighten up the kitchen.  It was immediate.  So, I think I’m willing to –

Jennie:  Uh-oh!!!

Clark:   What are you willing to do?

Lane:   Okay.  I’m willing to make, how about three-quarters of the light bulbs in the house fluorescent.

Jennie: That’s a pretty good compromise.

Clark:  Are you really?

Lane:   I’m ready to do it.  [laughing]

Clark:   This is great stuff!