Cut Your Cooling Costs With These Money-Saving Tips

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable in the summer, there are a number of ways to accomplish your goal without breaking a sweat over your cooling costs. Believe it or not, the price of heating and/or cooling a home often accounts for more than 50 percent of a homeowner’s energy bill. What does this mean for you? As a budget conscious individual, it’s time to cut your cooling costs with these money-saving tips.

When the sun is up, consider pulling your shades down. Close your curtains, blinds or whatever window treatments you use to keep the sun’s rays from heating up your home. This will help to keep the interior of your home cool, which can help to cut your energy costs by not making your air conditioner work harder simply because the sun is causing excess heat. Solar screens for your windows and a radiant paint barrier for your attic are effective ways to block much of the sun’s UV rays.

If you use an air conditioner to cool your home, make sure that you adjust the temperature when you leave the house. Otherwise, you are just wasting energy on a home when no one is there. Additionally, you can also turn the unit down at night when the temperatures typically tend to cool off. This is true whether you are using a window unit for an individual room or a central system that’s used to cool the entire home.

It’s important to clean your filters and/or replace them as recommended by the manufacturer. In addition to possibly resulting in dust and other allergens being circulated into the air, neglecting your filters could prevent the cool air from properly getting into your home. Have your air ductwork inspected on a regular basis for leaks and clogs to insure your system operates at peak performance.

Not every summer day is a hot one, which means you can often take advantage of the temperatures by using a standard fan instead of your air conditioner. The latter uses a great deal more energy than a fan, so consider your needs on a daily basis when choosing how to cool your home. You can install a ceiling fan for added air circulation, or you can use a standard rotating fan.

Your kitchen oven can heat up your home in a hurry, which can make your air conditioner work harder to keep your house cool. This, in turn, results in higher cooling costs. Instead of using the oven, consider popping something in the microwave or on the outdoor grill for a change. While this may not be possible every day, it’s certainly something to consider on those sweltering summer afternoons.

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Tips

A pest is not just a word that’s used to describe an annoyance; in fact, it’s also the term given to a destructive animal that destroys crops, food and even livestock. Whether you have a garden that has become a hot spot for neighborhood pests or you simply want to keep them from entering your home, it’s important to keep in mind several do-it-yourself pest control tips.

One of the most attractive places for a pest is that which is filled with food. Ants love anything sweet, including sugar, so make sure that any spills are cleaned up completely. It’s equally important to keep your food containers and bags sealed properly to avoid a problem.

If you have weeds in your lawn, remove them to avoid attracting pests. Additionally, pay close attention to the plants and/or flowers that you use in your landscaping as certain types tend to attract pests, while others repel them. For specifics, ask a local gardening professional or a representative from your local home improvement gardening center.

Nobody likes mosquitoes, but they are still a part of life and it’s important to deal with them. You may not be able to rid your entire yard of these nuisances, but you can make it a place where they are not welcome. One way of doing this is to remove anything that could result in standing water, which attracts mosquitoes. Remove old flower pots, tires or anything else that could be a place for water to gather. Not only is this a health concern as mosquitoes often carry diseases, but it’s also a good way to clean up the yard.

If you know that pests are getting into your home, the next logical step is to find out how. Once you locate the entry point, repair the area so that it no longer allows for outside intruders to enter your home. If you notice cracks, holes or other needed repairs, make sure that they are corrected to prevent future pests from setting up shop in your space.

In some cases, homeowners are forced to deal with pests by using products designed specifically for the purpose of pest control. These products, which are commonly available at any retail and/or home improvement store, should be used as directed in order to prevent harm to yourself, your family and your pets. It’s important to keep all pest control products locked in a cabinet and out of reach of children.