Friday, July 16, 2010

Beat The Heat! Tips to save you money & energy this summer

We're in the dog days of summer folks! With temperatures here in the mile high city tipping the triple digits it brings our attention to the best ways to beat the heat. Obviously, you can crank that AC til the cows come home but instead of fainting from heatstroke you'll be fainting from your energy bill. What else can you do to keep your home ambient without breaking the bank?

The average home spends $2200 a year in energy costs but by making simple changes you can save not only your comfort but your wallet too.

Make sure your attic insulation is up to par! Many older homes are lacking in this department to say the least. The insulation creates a barrier between the high (and low) temperatures outside and the inside of the home. An under insulated home can lose up to 40% of conditioned air through the attic! YIKES! You can pretty easily check to see if your insulation is adequate by looking in your attic, exposed beams mean that there is definitely not enough. However, even with covered beams you could be inefficient, a solid 18 inches is ideal. You can add to your existing insulation fairly easily and we recommend a material with an R-60 value, top of the line! An extra bonus, Federal tax credits are available for things like this for up to $1500! By far the best way to save on your heating and cooling bills.

Weatherize your home. Make sure that there are no air leaks throughout your home. Windows and doors are a common place for leaks. You can certainly mediate these problems by replacing your outdated windows but there are also cheaper alternatives. Spray foam is a good option, grab a couple of cans and seal the outsides of your home including your garage, this will also keep pests and rodents out. Door sweeps keep drafts out. You can also re-caulk your window jams to make sure that an effective seal prevents any leaking.

Keep shades and curtains drawn during the day.

Open windows and screen doors at night and allow mother nature to cool your home. Make sure to open things on both sides of your home to create a cross draft.

Turn off lights! The heat, especially from iridescent bulbs, can do a lot more damage than you would think heating up a room several degrees over time.

Use ovens and stoves sparingly, instead bbq on the grill outside!

If you must resort to the AC make sure you have a programmable thermostat. Set the temperatures accordingly, it doesn't make sense to cool a home that no one is in during work hours so program your AC to kick on shortly before you arrive home.

~5280 Lady


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