Everyone knows that with the arrival of the summer months that they can expect an increase in their home’s energy bills as they try to keep it cool and comfortable within their home. This year it is time to try something new. Instead of accepting the fact your electric bill will climb as the temperature rises, fight back with some minor home improvement projects that will help you save money.
Projects inside Your Home
- Caulk windows. You could potentially save between five to 10 percent on your energy bills throughout the year just by caulking in and around your windows. This will reduce any air leaks that allow warm air to seep into your home during the summer and cold drafts during the cooler months. Caulk is not very expensive and this project can be easily completed within a couple of hours.
- Hang curtains. Consider purchasing energy efficient draperies for your home. During the summer, they will prevent heat from radiating into your home from your windows. These curtains have a backing that may reduce the amount of heat produced by your windows by up to 33 percent. In the winter, they will help keep the heat in your home, reducing heat loss by up to 10 percent.
- Ceiling fans. Installing ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to help keep your home cool during the summer. During the summer, make sure the fan is switched to spinning counterclockwise to help pull warm air up and push cold air down into your living space. In the winter, reverse the fan to spin in a clockwise direction. This will push the warmer air down and pull up the cooler air to make your room more comfortable.
Projects outside Your Home
- Energy efficient landscaping. Your home’s landscape can help reduce both your heating and cooling costs throughout the year. The shade from well-positioned trees in your yard may reduce these costs by up to 25 percent each year. Just by shading your roof, the efficiency of your air conditioner may be increased by 10 percent or more. During the winter, the trees in your yard may act as a windbreak for your home and help reduce your heating costs between 10 to 30 percent.
- Paint the roof. Special roof paint and coatings are available that will help deflect the sun’s rays from your roof. While a dark colored roof may reach temperatures of 150 degrees or higher during the summer, a white roof may be up to 50 degrees cooler. This helps prevent heat from radiating down into your home, thus keeping your home cooler. Less heat on the roof may also prolong the life of your roof because of less damage occurring over time.