No, you don't need ECC for home computing. I don't know what CPU you are using, so just make sure your setup can function without ECC. For example, the AMD Opterons require Registered RAM, which is often acompanied by them being ECC. Otherwise, you should be just fine with replacing them with non-ECC, and it should not affect your programs. Don't mix the ECC and non-ECC though, one or the other. If your BIOS has an ECC setting, you should turn it off or disable.