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With heating fuel prices going up and electrical power prices are going to go up it is a good summer for home improvements that will cut your utility bills. The price of electricity has to go up for two reasons. First the price of USA mined coal has gone up almost double in the last two years. Folks in Europe are buying so much US coal that the demand has gone up. Where I live, in Ohio, 60% of the electricity is made from coal.

In the heat of summer natural gas is used to boost the amount of electrical power made to keep air conditioners running. The price of natural gas is at an all time high for this time of year and is NOT expected to go down. The price of electricity must go up.

What energy saving home projects are you planning for this summer?
 

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On an annual basis I check the calking around the windows, weather stripping around the doors and one often overlooked thing... the bottom seal of our garage door. We have an attached garage, so keeping that warmer means less colder air near the door to the house.
 

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Rcannon - thats something i would do, plus i might make draft-stoppers now eady for the wintercold months

but summer project wise - i would just refrain from using electric/gas powered items to keep me cool, and save the money i would of spent and put it towards the winter months when the bills will obviously be higher
 

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We do not have the cash to do them this summer but we have a list that we are working on.

new windows ours and 1967 single pane windows.... in our addition we can tell the difference with the new windows

a tankless water heater.... I have a gas one anyway so tankless would make a huge difference

and our furnace is 10 years old so while not an immediate replacement I would assume in the next few years.

One thing I can afford hang the shades I already bought 2 years ago.

make curtains and close them when the room is not being used. We have blinds and swags.. time to go back to insulated curtains.


The large shade tree on the south side is a maple so it may be near its end in maybe 10 years ?? so I am planting an oak to get it
growing

And our nice sunny deck is too hot and the heat comes in the dining room so we will be building a screen of some sort.
 

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Rcannon - thats something i would do, plus i might make draft-stoppers now eady for the wintercold months

but summer project wise - i would just refrain from using electric/gas powered items to keep me cool, and save the money i would of spent and put it towards the winter months when the bills will obviously be higher
In theory that sounds good but with temps in the 90's and high humidity that is hard to do. many people die for that reason every year. It is easier to keep warm than cool off. When it does not cool down at night is where people get into trouble here in the midwest USA


Setting the air higher can help especially if you are not home. keep the humidity out of the house as much as possible. short showers, grilling,
 

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I am going to try to make some window quilts and draft stoppers . I want my husband to put in a fireplace insert but I don't know if he will.
 

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Another Rate Hike

I just found out today that Xcel Energy is increasing the cost of residential electricity by 38% starting in July. We have already minimized our electrical consumption to the bare minimum. It may be time to look at adding some sort of solar energy to the house. All the windows and doors have been weather sealed and we are not using our A/C at all, so far. I really feel for those that are going to get hit hard by the latest rate hike.
 
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