Change in Your Pocket: Cool Tips for the Home | VideoJoel Porter | 7/19/2012
The Richter brothers are business partners on a hot afternoon. Flagging down cars along Avenue C with the promise of cold lemonade.
"It just feels good and stuff," said Charley Richter.
At 25 cents a glass, it`s a bargain for the commuter traffic and a lesson on free enterprise for the brothers.
"So we figured, if it was a little low, they`d be able to buy two glasses or maybe even three," Adam Richter said.
But 75 cents is far less than what most customers are paying to keep their houses cool. With AC units blasting, maintaining a comfortable temp isn`t always cheap.
"At 6:30 at night, when I come home and fire up my oven to make dinner, my consumption goes way up. Well as I start to look at that, I might start to evaluate, is that the right appliance? Or is there a more energy efficient appliance I might be able to use?" said Doug Remboldt, Vice President of Utility Services at NISC.
National Informations Solutions Cooperative offers software that enables many power customers to monitor their usage throughout the day. You can even mark off appliances that use excess energy. However, if home renovation is on the table, installing new windows, such as double or even triple-pane glass can help keep out the heat.
"When you put in new windows, you cut your drafts, you will cool it down. But windows are one piece of a big puzzle to cut your energy costs," said Jan Frohlich with Leingang Homes.
If you don`t quite have the money to upgrade to more efficient windows, there are other steps you can take to keep out the heat. One option, adding tint.
"I just did a dealership where I tinted all of the windows and they said it was a five degree difference on their thermostat setting," said Sunlight Solutions Owner Tommy Feist.
Feist specializes in installing tint in cars, homes and even office buildings.
"Each house probably takes an hour, hour and a half, depending on how many windows they want me to do."
Feist says the tint blocks up to 99 percent of U-V rays. A good start. But on a typical home, you should also examine your doors, roofing and insulation. Certainly not as cheap as a 25 cent glass of lemonade, but steps that will keep your house at a comfortable temp year round and will likely leave a little change in your pocket.
Besides grilling outdoors and avoiding the oven, you can also conserve energy by not running your dryer in the summer and hanging your laundry on a clothesline instead.