Home energy-saving tips for the summer heat
This week in Tucson, daytime temperatures will be in the 90’s. Can 100’s be far behind? Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to head back to Missoula, or Calgary, or even Chicago for the summer know that we’ll be spending more time indoors once the ice breaks on the Santa Cruz.
So what can we do to prepare our homes to keep us cool without running up our electric bills?
We know that Energy StarTM windows from American Openings will improve your home’s value and energy profile. But what if you already have new windows? What if you want new windows but they’re just not in the budget for this summer? What if you’re renting and your landlord isn’t ready to invest in new windows?
The good news is that there are a lot of cost effective moves that will make your home more comfortable and energy efficient this summer. Here are a few home energy-saving tips:
- • Check the caulking around your windows, inside and outside. There should be no holes in the caulk and no gaps between window frame and the caulk bead. Remove and replace old caulk where appropriate.
- • Check the caulking around all exterior doors and also the weather stripping between your door and jamb. Again, there should be no gaps between your door and weather strip. Old stripping can be easily removed and replaced for a few dollars at your nearest hardware store.
- • Make sure the thresholds under your doors are properly adjusted and making a snug fit. Not only will this help keep your home cool, it will help cut down on any crawling visitors that might want to sneak in for a visit.
- • Buy a programmable thermostat. If your home is unoccupied during the day, this is a great opportunity to set the temperature a few degrees higher when no one is home. You can also set it to give your A/C a little breather at night.
- • Check for any cracks in your home’s exterior stucco or masonry. These can be patched fairly inexpensively and go a long way towards creating a good thermal barrier between your living space and the desert heat.
- • Make sure that your clothes dryer filters are clean, your vent hoses empty and securely clamped and vented to the outside. No need to pump any hot dryer air into your living area! Keeping your filters and vents clean also eliminates a serious fire hazard.
- • Speaking of filters, be sure to change the air filter for your air conditioning system monthly. This will help your air conditioner work more efficiently and minimize the risk of an emergency repair.
- • If your home has an attic or crawl space, be sure both are well insulated. If your home has a gabled roof, a thermostatically-controlled vent fan can go a long way toward removing superheated air from your attic and reducing some stress on your cooling system.
- • If you have a flat roof, and it has been more than 5 years, it may be time to put on a fresh coat of reflective roof coating. While the white coating has the best reflective properties, some HOA’s may require a color other than white. Be sure to check before making the investment.
- • If you are renting, and the cost of the improvement is more than a few dollars, offer to do the labor in exchange for your landlord’s purchase of the materials. He’ll get an improved property and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable home with lower energy bills this summer.
The above steps will go a long way toward getting your home summer-ready without spending a lot of money. Of course, if your windows are more than 15 years old, and you are considering making the investment in new windows, please call American Openings at 520-664-1202. We build our own brand of energy-efficient windows right here in Tucson and can save you up to 30-50% compared to other companies.
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