Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Home Improvement Tips to Save Money This Summer

Summer means great outdoor weather, fishing trips, lying on the beach, camping with the family, BBQ with the neighbors, and many more fun activities. On the other hand, it also means having to deal with soaring electricity bills because of the oppressive heat. Homeowners can push back by initiating fairly simple renovations geared towards reducing power consumption. They can finance these projects with a small fund and recoup the cost through long-term savings. Some excellent examples are listed below: 

Seal the Gaps

Air can leak through tiny cracks on the walls as well as through gaps around doors and windows. These force the cooling system to work extra hard to maintain the desired temperature. A practical way to deal with this is to use caulk to seal the cracks. Weather stripping can also be employed when necessary. These are low cost, high impact solutions to the energy problem. The first thing to do is to locate each of the air leaks. Utility companies may offer this service for free or charge a nominal fee. List them down and sealed them off starting with the biggest gaps for maximum effect.

Insulate the Shell

Heat can quickly build up inside the house if the walls and ceilings are not properly insulated. Remedy the situation and slash up to 30% off of the problematic air-conditioning bills. The type of insulation that should be used depends on the existing house materials and the particular application. There's fiberglass, vermiculite, urethane foam, rigid foam, cellulose, and mineral-fiber, among others. Hire a reputable contractor for this project to ensure a thorough sweep. Good insulation keeps homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter so this project will be beneficial all year long.

Mind the Windows

During daytime, draw the curtains to let the sunlight in. Having the rooms bathed in natural light means that the artificial ones can be kept off until night falls. The windows could even be flung open to allow the breeze to flow inside the house. Opening two opposite windows creates cross-ventilation, a technique to cool the house naturally by promoting air circulation. Of course, if the air-conditioning unit needs to be used then the windows have to be closed shut. Consider replacing them with modern argon-filled double glazed windows, which have better insulating properties.

Color It Light

Physics has taught us that dark colors absorb light, which explains why dark things heat up faster than light ones. This is also why we wear light-colored clothing during summer. It only makes sense to do the same for our homes. Dark roofs contribute to the heat inside the house. If the roof is painted with a more reflective coating, then the interiors could remain relatively cool despite the harsh summer sun. The air-conditioner will not have to draw as much power as before to do its job, reducing the energy bills to a more manageable level.

Maintain Efficiency

Cooling systems must undergo periodic maintenance to make sure that they continue to operate at peak efficiency. Oftentimes, problems with the air-conditioner can be traced to clogged filters. Clean these regularly for better cooling. Check the ducts for any leaks and seal them off right away. Insulate parts that run through unconditioned spaces so that they don't affect the air temperature.

These simple home improvement tips are easy to finance and are certain to result in substantial savings. Consider implementing some or all of them to bring down the cost of your energy bills so that summer can go back to being the fun season that it was always meant to be.

Author Bio
William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. In this article, he describes a few home improvement techniques to save money and aims to encourage further study with an Ohio University Online Master in Electrical Engineering

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