How to keep your cool and save $$$ this summer

How to keep your cool and save $$$ this summer

1. Crawlspace Encapsulation
Say what? I know, this is something few people have never thought nor heard of. However, the crawl space under your home can be your #1 culprit for air leaks! One of the most significant benefits of crawl space encapsulation can be felt in your pocket book, as it makes your whole house more energy efficient. Crawl space encapsulation will completely air seal your foundation helping to eliminate negative pressure, thus keeping outside air from leaking in through the crawl, and keeping most of the conditioned air where it belongs. No more cold drafts from the floor during winter and less humidity during the summer means extra dollars in your pocket!.

2. Invest in new windows and doors
Your old windows are more than an eyesore – they are leaking money! Literally! The lose seals, cracks and wood rot allow cool air to leak out of your home and hot air to leak in. Energy efficient Windows and Doors not only give your home a fresh new curb appeal, they can also reduce your utility bills by as much as XX! While they may be more expensive upfront, they will pay for themselves in a big way before long! Not only can they drop your electric bill, they can also give your home’s resale value a BIG boost!

3. Reassess your AC usage
After a hot sweaty day outside, nothing beats walking into a cold air conditioned room. While the AC is great for keeping you cool, it can put a serious strain on your wallet! A couple of key things to keep in mind during the HOT NC Summers:
i. Remember basic maintenance
ii. Change your filters every month to reduce undue strain on your system
iii. Make sure your vents are OPEN
iv. Invest in a programmable thermostat to save $$ when you aren’t at home (this can lower your electricity bill by 20%!)

Keep in mind, when it is 90+ degrees outside, there is NO WAY your AC system can heat your home to 60*! Settle for a more reasonable temperature and avoid putting all that pressure on your system. You don’t want to freeze it up on the hottest days of summer and then have NO AC at all!

4. Be sure your home is insulated properly!
Air leakage can occur anywhere in your home – not just around windows and doors! Air can find the smallest crack and crevice to escape from (just like a 2-year-old in the grocery store). You may not notice it right away, but it will make it more expensive to cool your home properly. Caulking and weather stripping are the best ways to prevent this costly issue. Homes can also leak cool air out because of the spaces in between walls. If not insulated properly, you may as well be throwing money away. Fill the gaps between your walls with insulation to save big $$ in the winter AND summer!

5. Add Blinds, curtains and drapes
Window treatments don’t just look pretty – they also serve a functional purpose in your home. They can help keep your home cool with the summer sun beating down on it. Pull them down and close them when the sun is shining on that side of the house. Blinds can help reduce heat gain by as much as 45%, and drapes can help reduce heat gain by 33%! That’s additional heat your AC doesn’t have to make up for!

6. Unplug your devices when not in use
Don’t just turn them off – UNPLUG THEM! Did you know that anything you leave plugged in, like a laptop, kuereg etc will continue to draw electricity from your outlets? This ‘vampire energy suck’ could account for as much as 5% of your energy use! Don’t want to deal with the hassle of plugging, unplugging, plugging etc…? Invest in a power strip and simply turn the strip off when you aren’t using it.

7. Use fans and open windows
When the hottest part of the day is past, open your windows and turn on a fan! (remember to turn your AC off, first!) Often the temperature outside drops to lower than that in the home and you can cool your home without having to turn the AC on at all! Box fans in a window are a great option for drawing cool air in/ pushing hot air out and creating a wonderful cross breeze. Plus, they are way cheaper to run than the AC and opening a window is FREE! When you wake up in the morning simply shut the windows and turn the AC back on and voila!