Summer heat is on the way, and some homeowners are already feeling the pinch of higher energy bills while they try to keep their homes cool. Keep your cool and keep energy costs down with a few easy tips to increase energy efficiency that take only a weekend or less to do. Make this summer your coolest ever and spend the money you save on summertime fun.
* Paint-On Insulation -- Try one of the newest products available, clear paintable insulation which increases your home's thermal resistance and reduces your heating and cooling costs. Perfect for both older homes and any that could use a boost in energy efficiency. Nansulate HomeProtect Clear Coat is a nanotechnology based, patented coating which makes insulating as easy as painting a room. Testing shows that it reduces thermal transfer by 34.8 percent. Visit www.nansulate.com/homeprotect.htm to learn more.
* Use Mirrors to Reflect Light -- Sounds simple and it really is just that. Use mirrors to reflect and spread light throughout your home, reducing your need for electric lighting. Use mirrors near windows to reflect more natural light into a room, as well as with lamps to reflect their light and reduce the need for additional lighting.
* Turn Up Your Thermostat When Out -- Going to be away for a few hours or days? Turn up your thermostat while you're gone. For each degree you raise it, you save approximately 1-3 percent in energy costs, which can definitely add up over time and reduce your overall monthly bill.
* Plant a Tree and be Made in the Shade -- Let your landscape do double duty and help you save on energy costs. By planting a deciduous tree (those that shed their leaves in the winter) by the south and west sides of your home, you can shade your home from the summer heat and reduce cooling costs.
* Insulate Your Water Heater -- Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high value of insulation, adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This will save you between 4 and 9 percent in water heating costs. You can easily coat your tank with the same insulating paint mentioned above, and insulate both your home and water tank in one weekend.
Summer should be a time to get out and have fun, which you can do more easily when you're not worried about high energy bills. Take action now, and with a few simple tips you can cut costs this summer, and all year-round.