Category Archives: DIY

Saving on cooling costs

Saving on cooling costs

With energy costs going up with seemingly no end in sight it’s important to know ways to save energy at home. Here are some simple ways to reduce your cooling costs for the summer.


·  Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise. Having the fan going the right direction at the correct speed can keep the air in your house circulating and make it feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

·   Close your exterior doors and windows tightly when the AC is on. Your doors and windows weather stripping is equally important in the summer as it is in the winter. You can save more by limiting how long your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans run.


·    Change or clean your AC’s air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance. If you have central air, it’s a good idea to change the furnace air filter as the cool are is passed through the furnace ducts to your living areas. Keeping the filter changed regularly will improve air flow and make the fan fun more efficiently.

·    Make sure your AC has a rating – or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – of 15. Not only will it be more efficient, you could also be eligible for a rebate up to $300.Make saving automatic: Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly. Setting your thermostat to keep the house just a few degrees below the high for the day can also help by limiting how often it runs.

·   Block the sun from overheating your home.  Try to block as much sunlight from the room containing the thermostat, when you keep this room cooler it helps to not have the AC run as often during the day.

·   Insulate your walls with injected foam insulation to help you save energy by keeping hot outside air from seeping through porous block walls – check with your local building supply company for details.

·    Give your AC a tune-up. Running an inefficient AC system can result in high monthly bills. On top of that come tax time you can get a few bucks back from the government.

·     Open interior doors so that cooled air flows freely throughout your home.

·     Repair leaky ducts to reduce heating and cooling costs and qualify for a rebate up to $120 toward repairs.

·     Though through thermal dynamics, e.g. heat rising, there shouldn’t be much heat transfer it’s a good idea to install attic insulation rated R-30 and sealing any attic leaks to reduce high home cooling costs. You’ll save money each month and qualify for a rebate of $75 or more.

·    Decorate for a cooler home by hanging light-colored curtains that allow light to enter a room while blocking some of the sun’s rays, and light-colored paint to reflect heat.

·     Close unused air vents. If you have central AC you can close air vent in rooms you’re not using so you’re not paying to cool them. If you have a finished basement living-room/family-room area, consider closing the ducts to this part of the house. Cool air will naturally sink, but closing the ducks to these areas you’re forcing the air to the first floor which will eventually trickle down to the basement anyway.

·     Plant trees to provide shade on the sunny side of your home.

·     Install more ceiling fans. Because the breeze of a fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler, you can raise that thermostat and still stay comfortable.

·     Install a programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature during the day.


Implementing several of these concepts can reduce your energy costs of the long run. Many of them are tax deductible and how doesn’t want a few bucks back at the end of the year?


Shop for your fans and water saving fixtures. 

Money Saving DIY tips


paint1. Paint: Though painting is the cheapest investment you can make, it’s also the one with the most dramatic result. Go ahead and put some color on those walls for a fresh — and inexpensive — new look. 






vacuum2. Do It Yourself:

There are tasks to home remodeling projects you should not be paying for. One such cost is the end of the day clean up. You can save up to $200 a week on your contracted remodel project if you grab a broom or vacuum and do the cleanup yourself.




resalestore3. Shop Secondhand Stores: Thrift stores, consignment shops, church rummage sales, online auction sites, estate sales and even salvage yards offer a bounty of discount decorating booty. Look for furniture with solid construction and classic lines that new upholstery or paint will bring back to life. 
sale4. Wait Patiently for Sales and Discounts
Wait to find what you really love at a price you really love. While you shop, ask if items will be discounted any time soon. Store and department managers are usually the best sources for this insider info and may even offer you the discounted price before it goes into effect.

mixmatch5. Don’t play the match game, mix it up
Not only is a “matchy-matchy” look boring, but buying entire suites of furniture tends to cost more than putting together a creative, eclectic look. Mix it up by opting for a couch and chairs upholstered in complementary fabrics, flanking a bed with unmatched night stands and decorating with other diverse items unified by color, form, material and tone. Or try pairing a stately wood table with shiny aluminum or brightly colored plastic chairs. And don’t be afraid to mix high-end and low-end or modern and traditional.
corbells6. Add Unexpected Accessories
Almost anything can serve as an accessory, and that goes for found objects and household items that cost practically nothing. Architectural corbels rescued from a salvage yard make great bookends, while seashells and driftwood collected at the shore create a lovely natural grouping. A bowl filled with crisp green apples lends a bright pop of color to just about any surface, and a stack of vintage hard-backs books adds height, dimension and character to an occasional table.

repurposefurniture7. One man’s junk…
Use your creativity to see possibilities in items others are tossing out. Take an old shelf like the one pictured, add some wheels and a handle and you have yourself a nice serving cart.
oldtonewOr you can simply take and item and give it new life. Some stencils and a light dusting of spray paint and you got a dresser with some character. 



suitecasedresserAny Good Will will have some old suite cases and you can likely find some old shelving at a recycled building materials store. What do you have? A unique and interesting chest of draws.





















eFaucets Review: Black is the new chrome…

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