Summer Savings: Easy and Affordable Fixes

The hot weather has finally arrived! Of course this means blasting the A/C in your house, and spending quite a bit of money doing so. Check out the following tips for quick ways to save money, and energy, during the scorching summer months:

Insulate & Seal:
According to Energy Star, proper insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs as much as 20 percent. If you can only afford to insulate one place in your house, start at the attic or your highest floor. Those places can hold more heat, which will radiate down throughout the rest of your house. Insulation can stop this flow of heat, which will make your air conditioner work less, saving you money.

Caulk up those windows and weather-strip doorways. This makes your home more energy-efficient by sealing up major sources of air leaks, cutting down on your heating or cooling bills in the process. A simple do-it-yourself caulking job will only cost you around $50 for all the materials, while saving you much more in the future.
caulking

Clean Filters:
Dirty air filters can significantly block airflow in the house, reducing your system’s efficiency. By cleaning your filter, you can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Clean your filters monthly during the summer for optimal performance.

filters

Shades & Blinds:
During the summer, awnings reduce solar heat gain by up to 65%. Consider installing adjustable or retractable awnings, so that sun can still warm the house during winter. On the sunniest and hottest of days, close the blinds on your windows. According to the U.S. Energy Department, this can reduce heat gain by approximately 45%.

Closing drapes on windows that get direct sunlight can also prevent heat gain. Use medium-colored drapes with white plastic backings for the best reflection of heat (this reduces gains by 33%).

blinds

Unplug:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average household spends $100 a year on plugged-in devices, even those not being used directly. Nationwide, these unused appliances use up 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, costing around $11 billion in total.

The EPA reports that computers account for 2-3 percent of overall US home and office energy use. Your best option to reduce this is to unplug your computer entirely, not just put it in sleep mode. You can also invest in a power strip that can sense when your computer is in sleep mode, which then turns itself completely off.

unplug

Finally, unplug that garage or basement fridge! You know, the one with the expired sodas and ketchup bottles in it. If you are hosting a party, keep the fridge unplugged until the night before. This gives plenty of time to cool those beverages and apple pie.

Fix up your home now to sell it later. Sell your home fast for cash with Buck Buys Houses.
http://www.zillowblog.com/ , epa.gov

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