96°F
weather icon Clear

Cool down your home with hot-weather tips

It’s that time of year again when triple digits fill the week’s weather forecast. We know with rising temperatures come rising utility bills (often accompanied by rising blood pressure, yikes).

Here’s a list of hot weather tips to cool down your home and wallet.

■ Keep windows closed during the heat of the day, and draw blinds and curtains to keep the heat out. Consider adding blackout curtains that reflect UV rays. Investing in blackout curtains will pay off in the winter too by reducing warm air from escaping.

■ For an easy DIY project, use a window tinting kit, especially on southern-facing windows. Proper window tinting can reduce your cooling bills up to 30%. Try Gila® Energy Saving Window Films. Be sure to read all directions and warranties. Although pricier, also consider custom solar window screens that block damaging UV rays and solar heat gain.

■ Run your appliances in the early morning and late evening, when temperatures are at their lowest. Big appliances throw off a lot of heat, which will make your air conditioner work harder to cool down the house. Also, using big appliances at night reduces strain on the electrical grid during peak hours.

■ Lower the temperature on your water heater. If leaving for vacation, shut off your water heater entirely, or switch it to “vacation” if your unit offers this setting.

■ Is your attic properly insulated? It gets hot up in there, sometime over 125 degrees, and that heat can penetrate into your home. A high R-value (the measure of resistance to heat flow) is what you need to keep your home cool in the summer (and warm in the winter). Older homes’ attics only have R-values of R9-R19, while newer homes have an insulation of R25 or higher.

■ Dress in light natural fabric and turn up your thermostat to 78. When away, raise the thermostat between 80-84. Do not let temps go above 85, in fact, experts warn that shutting AC completely can damage paint, electronics, wiring, and stress appliances.

■ Be sure to change the air conditioning filter(s) regularly. An AC unit with dirty filters can use 5-10% more energy— it can even age your unit prematurely.

■ Using a ceiling or room fan will make a higher thermostat setting more comfortable because moving the air will cool the room, and you. Also, for ceiling fans, flip the switch on the unit so it turns counter-clockwise in the summer. Switching blade direction will pull the cool air upward so you feel a cooling effect.

■ Keep hot air from sneaking in and cool air from seeping out of your home. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal air leaks around doors, windows, and AC window units. Our local Ace Hardware and True Value carry a plethora of home insulation products like M-D Foam Window Weather Stripping and Frost King Replacement Kerf Door Seal.

In the spirit of shopping locally, this time of year our local hardware stores carry “cool” seasonal products and have sales that are well worth checking out. For example, I’ve heard great things about the As Seen On TV’s personal air coolers, available at True Value, and Ace Hardware currently has a sale on 3-speed oscillating pedestal fans. For the patio or working outdoors I personally enjoy using a portable bucket-top misting fan with rechargeable batteries.

BCNV.org offers energy saving tips on their utility page and a thorough “Home Conservation Tips” guide that can definitely save you money. Many of these tips will cost you no money to implement. Check out https://www.bcnv.org/DocumentCenter/View/657/Conservation-Tips-PDF

To help lighten your summer power bill load, the city offers a Budget Billing Plan— “Tired of high summer electric bills? Use Boulder City’s Equal Payment Plan to average your last 12 months’ usage. Then you pay the same amount each month. No more surprises in the summertime.”

THE LATEST
A popular Eagle tradition

The annual Boulder City High School Grad Walk was held this past Friday.

May the Fourth Be With You (a day early)

LEFT: Sophomore Delaney Loeslein gets some assistance during the class challenge of Hungry, Hungry Hippo at Friday’s BCHS year-end assembly.

DIY could be more costly and risky than DIFM

Back in the days of my home-show appearances, attendees would often ask me the same kind of question—“Do you think I could renovate my own bathroom (kitchen, bedroom…)?” To which I would always answer, “Do you know how to replace a light switch?” That would always make them chuckle.

Therapy dogs make testing ‘stress free’ at King Elementary

Test anxiety is a common concern for teachers, parents, and students, especially this time of year for King students as they prepare to take the state test for the first time.

Statehouse daughter heads services to veterans

It’s not out of the ordinary for journalists to sometimes leave the profession and try something new. Especially when they feel a family connection urging them to enter into a divergent field of employment. That’s what happened to one local individual.

Howard turns passion into full-time job

For many self-published authors, the passion to put words on a page ends up being a hobby they do when everyday life frees up a few minutes here and there to do so.

BCHS gearing up for spring play

Spring is in the air and life is abuzz in the Boulder City High School Theatre Department. While residents all over town are packing their winter clothes and embarking on spring cleaning projects; students in the drama department are collaborating on their spring performance of “Yard Sale” by Tim Kelly.

Andrew Mitchell Elementary goes beyond 7 Habits

As a Leader In Me School, Mitchell Elementary frequently refers to the 7 Habits. As a matter of fact, each day at our morning ceremony, students and staff recite our mission statement, which refers specifically to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

LMNRA has deep roots in Boulder City

We at Lake Mead National Recreation Area are constantly amazed and grateful for the support from the Boulder City community. We also strive to provide great service to the people of this great town.