It’s hot out there

Be energy efficient and stay cool.

According to Energy.gov, six percent of the average household’s energy use goes to space cooling. With the warmer summer temperatures already here, many of us are seeking ways to keep cool and reduce our energy bills.

To lower your bills and increase your comfort, Energy.gov suggests the following Energy Saver strategies:

  • Detect air leaks by conducting visual inspections: on the outside of your home (i.e. exterior corners, outdoor water faucets, etc.) and the inside of your home (i.e. electrical outlets, switch plates, door and window frames, baseboards, weather stripping around doors, etc. For a thorough assessment of your home, hire a qualified technician to provide an energy audit and a blower door test.
  • Once air leaks have been identified, apply caulk. Caulking is the application of a flexible material to seal air leaks through cracks, gaps and joints that are located between building components that are stationary. For use specifications including caulk type, cost and application visit Energy.gov.
  • Once air leaks have been identified, apply weather-stripping. Weather-stripping is used to seal air leaks around moveable building components in your home such as doors or windows. For use specifications including type, cost and application visit Energy.gov.

(Tip: To see if you qualify for weatherization assistance, contact your state weatherization agency).

In addition to the above, consider these cost saving strategies that specifically target windows. To reflect heat away from the house, install white windows, drapes or blinds. For south and west facing windows, close the curtains during the day and install awnings. To reduce solar heat gain on south facing windows, apply sun control or a reflective film.

For additional information on energy efficiency, including the benefits of programmable thermostats visit Energy.gov.

For additional money management resources visit Michigan State University Extension. Michigan State University Extension offers financial literacy and homeownership workshops throughout the year to help you become financially healthy. For more information of classes in your area, please visit either the MSU Extension events page or MI Money Health website. Additionally, you can take the Financial Health Survey at MI Money Health to access if you’re financially healthy and discover more ways you can improve your financial health.

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