Block the heat with these hot tips

Hello August! Typically one of the hottest months of summer and the forecast for this week calls for triple digit temperatures. When outdoor temperatures rise, so do the energy bills. The raging sun can heat up one’s home, making for an uncomfortable space and higher energy bills…even when you haven’t changed your daily routine. But no need to worry, I’ve got some summer energy saving tips to keep you from sweating those higher summer energy bills.

(Image) Weekly summer weather forecast high temperatures

Stop air infiltration!  

According to the Department of Energy, the average home has enough gaps and cracks to create a three-foot by three-foot hole in the wall. That means you got heated air coming in to your air conditioned space. . The first step in detecting air infiltrations is having a blower door performance test done to track where your leaks are. Once you’ve determined the drafty areas, it’s time to get to work.

Caulking windows and adding weather-stripping to your doors can help reduce unwanted hot air into your home. After all, you’re trying to cool the space not heat it. Make sure to caulk all the way around your windows. Look for a silicon base caulk that is designed to last more than 20 years, and not crack but move with the home as the ground expands and contracts. The last thing you want is for the caulk to dry up and reopen the seams.

Silicon caulks come in different colors. If you can’t find your color, you can always go with a clear version or one that can be painted.

Weather-stripping around doors is a good way to seal and keep unwanted hot air out. Inspect your doors, looking for daylight coming from the sides, top and bottom. If you see it, then you’re losing energy. Look for the rubber/vinyl-style stripping to create a tight seal. Installing a door sweep inside at the bottom of the door is another great way to keep air from seeping in from underneath the door.

Large gaps and cracks in walls can mean every time the HVAC system turns on, it’s drawing hot attic air through them. You want to seal those quickly.

Spray foam is a great way to seal larger gaps or cracks. Typically, there are large holes or cavities where pipe penetration may exist. Don’t believe me…look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Spray the foam in these areas. The foam will expand and then harden. This will not only keep unwanted hot air out but also those pesky little critters that give you the heebie-jeebies.

Light switch and outlet foam gaskets are a sure way to reduce air infiltration. About 20 percent of the air that comes into your home is coming from your outlets and switches. These inexpensive gaskets are easy to install and are UL-rated for safety. Simply remove the plastic plate, install the precut gasket and replace the plate. It’s that simple.

And finally, pull the shade on the sunlight’s heat and harmful UV rays by using blackout curtains. Blackout curtains can help keep you and your home feeling cooler, which means you’re not tempted to turn your HVAC temperature down. You don’t have to use these curtains on every window but hang them on windows that get the most direct sunlight, typically, southeast, west and east sides of your home.

For more ways to save and money saving programs visit


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Albert was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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