#ActAndSave: Heat Waves

#ActAndSave: Heat Waves

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A heat wave has sent temperatures soaring to record highs in [enter region] with temperatures consistently reaching the [temp range]. But you don’t have to suffer in your own home. There are some easy improvements you can make to keep the heat out of your home, making it more comfortable and more efficient, as well as taking the strain off of your air conditioner.

Recommendation

Start by improving your home’s insulation and sealing any drafts. According to experts this is the best way to lower your energy bills while keeping your house cool and comfortable this summer. Take on the biggest culprits in the home first:

  • Draft proof your home by sealing gaps around windows and doors and other building penetrations like baseboards, outlets, and holes for plumbing with caulk, spray-foam or weather stripping to keep the hot air out, and the cool air in.
  • Add insulation to your attic and/or walls to stay cool while also saving up to 30% on summer air conditioning costs.
  • Purchase a programmable thermostat to reduce cooling needs when you’re not home to help maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature in your home while saving energy. And, make sure you’ve set the thermostat properly with some tips available here.
Take Action
  1. Get informed: Whether you are a DIY kind of family, or looking to hire a local contractor to do the work, starting with the right information is essential:
    1. Know your performance: Check your recent utility bills, or search for your address on home energy performance sites like myutilityscore.com or clearlyenergy.com to see how your house stacks up
    2. There are helpful tips and resources at Energy Star’s online “Home Energy Knowledge Center,” where you can match your biggest concerns with the best home energy improvement project. Or, check out the best recommendations by zip code provided by the US Department of Energy
    3. Consider a home energy audit where a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS), Home Energy Solutions (HES), or Building Performance Institute (BPI) professional can identify the right improvements to save energy and money in your home
    4. See what financing options you may quality for, with the Database of State Incentives, your local electric utility, or options from traditional lending institutions.
  2. Act: Ready to take on your home improvement? Here are a few things to consider:
    1. Hiring help? Find a qualified contractor in your area with like BPI-certified contractors
    2. Going the DIY route? The DOE’s DIY energy saver guide includes project tips, material guides, and more.
  3. Share: Snap a picture and tell us what you’re doing to improve your home’s performance this summer—tagging us at [fill in network’s social media username]. We may feature your project in an upcoming news segment.

Download and share this and other images from the Photos and Graphics section below.

Relevant Resources

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Quick Facts

Source: US Department of Energy

  • Installing exterior low-e storm windows can save 12%–33% annually on cooling bills, realizing an annual savings of $100–$274.
  • Sealing uncontrolled air leaks can save you 10-20% on annual cooling bills, realizing an average annual savings of $83-$166.
  • Weatherstripping double-hung windows can save 5-10% annually on cooling bills, an average savings of $42-$83.
  • Programmable thermostats can save an average of 10% per year on home cooling costs.
Social Media Posts

Establish a hashtag for your network in order to share these and similar tips with viewers and followers:

  • Tips for keeping your home cool this summer without blasting the air conditioner—seal gaps around windows and doors, add insulation to the attic/walls, or purchase a programmable thermostat: https://bit.ly/2wvVyiR #ActAndSave

  • Stay cool this summer with a couple of energy and money-saving upgrades—these DIY projects all cost less than $200, and pay back in no time: http://ow.ly/H9UN30ls72c #ActAndSave

  • This summer save up to 20% on cooling costs for your home by making sure all ceilings, roofs, exterior walls, and wall cavities are insulated: http://ngrid.com/2mCmaKc #ActAndSave

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