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Energy Effi ciency


Five energy effi ciency investments to make this summer


If you’re remodeling your kitchen or adding a room to your


Run ceiling fans to stay comfortable


Installing and running ceiling fans during the summer will make you feel cooler and more comfortable while you are in a room where one is operating. Because the fans move the


air, they create a subtle breeze that feels good when it blows across your skin. Running a fan in an unoccupied room is a waste of energy. If nobody is there to feel the breeze, there’s no reason to create it. A ceiling fan doesn’t cool the house; it just makes someone who is sitting or standing nearby feel cooler. So, turn off your fans when you leave a room, and fl ip them back on when you return. Installing ceiling fans


in rooms where your family spends the most time is a good investment in energy effi ciency. When you run a ceiling fan, your comfort level will increase so much that you can turn the A/C thermostat up by 4 degrees without feeling any diff erence.


house this summer, take the opportunity to make your home more energy effi cient. [29-151-109-00] Energy improvements aren’t inexpensive, but they pay


off in a big way. First, they can lower your cooling bill during the summer and your heating bill in winter. Second, energy- effi cient products will make your home feel more comfortable. And third, they will add value to your home when you’re ready to sell it. Here are just fi ve worthwhile energy-saving home improvements:


1. Outdoor window shades. Shade screens and awnings keep the sun from beaming directly through your home’s windows and into its air-conditioned rooms. Place them on south-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent and on west-facing panes to save 77 percent, estimates the U.S. Department of Energy.


2. Whole-house fan. Installed in your attic, this enormous fan pulls cool air in through open windows around the house and then forces hot air out through attic vents. Open windows on opposite sides of the house when you run the fan, and you’ll enjoy a cool cross breeze as your home airs out. DOE says a house fan can cut your A/C bill by up to 5 percent.


3. Attic insulation. Even if your attic has plenty of insulation, it’s likely it has pulled itself out of place over the years. Insulation is eff ective only when it touches the surface it’s supposed to cover. If it droops or falls, it’s not doing you any good. Reattach the insulation and add more in places where the original application has thinned out.


4. Energy-effi cient A/C. T e older yours is, the harder it’s working to keep your home cool. Newer models are designed to cool your home more effi ciently. In fact, you can save up to 10 percent on cooling bills if you replace an ineffi cient A/C system with a model approved by Energy Star.


5. Sealed ductwork. T e ductwork attached to the A/C system in most homes leaks. Next time you have a tech in to do routine maintenance, have those ducts inspected and sealed. You can knock up to 25 percent off of your cooling costs if you do. Note that sealing ductwork is diff erent from cleaning it. Sealing is the key to energy savings.


News Magazine 11


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