lower utility bills energy saving

Make Your Home More Energy Saving and Have Lower Utility Bills!

Are your summertime electricity bills high? I mean really high? A friend of mine told me his electric bill is almost $500 a month during the summer. That is outrageous. There are many ways for us to make the best of our home. One of those ways is to make your home more energy saving and start seeing lower utility bills!

Staying cool in the Panhandle Summers is a must. So is saving money!

So to help us both, I wanted to get some professional tips on how to cut and lower our utility bills. I called HVAC expert Nick Zetta! He has cooled off Texans for over 20 years, and is now teaching others how to fix AC units at Vista College in Amarillo Tx.

Staying cool in the Panhandle Summers is a must. So is saving money. If there is anything we can do to help make that happen AND keep the cost down, I say lets do it. After speaking with Nick, he was kind enough to want to help you and I both stay nice and cozy in the heat! He gave me a couple of tips which I want to share with you!

5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY & STAY COOL

1. Replace your old AC unit, if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old and you need to do some expensive repairs it might be a good time to go ahead and replace it with a new one. Older AC units can use much more electricity than more energy-efficient new ones.

2. Wash your condenser, according to Nick Zetta washing your condenser can cut the amount of energy it uses because the condenser dispenses the heat from in your home and if it is dirty it has to work harder to get the job done.

3. Ventilate your attic, using attic fans and soffit vents can cut the amount of trapped heat in your attic. Remember your attic needs to breath.

4. Window Shades, using window shades or blinds that have different colors using a light reflective shades in summer and a dark shade in the winter can help reduce the amount of heat coming into your home. Also installing new energy-efficient windows can block up to 80% of the heat from coming in.

5. Leave AC on, don’t turn off your ac while you go to work, it can take more energy to get your home cool than to maintain it at a comfortable level.

Here’s to lower utility bills, beautiful summer evenings, and making the best of our homes.

remodel home exterior

Remodeling Your Home’s Exterior

You just walked outside and noticed that your home is beginning to look a lot like the antique dresser that was in your grandmother’s house. Cracked and discolored on the outside. It is time to get your curb appeal on and take the time to cover the old with something new. You begin to wonder if painting is your only option and will it take yet another coat of paint.

 

It is time to get your curb appeal on and take the time to cover the old with something new.

 

What can you do to make your home look new after the wood will no longer hold paint?  Well, i guess you could brick it or stucco it. However, I’m a siding man, so I’m gonna say siding. If you are thinking about dressing up the exterior of your home with some brand new siding, there are just a few things you should consider before moving forward.

 

3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WITH NEW SIDING INSTALLATION:

 

1. INSULATION:

If your home is old, it may not have any insulation in the walls. If your home was built around the depression it could very well be missing insulation. They did this back then because times were tough and they could not afford luxuries like insulation. So consider blowing insulation into the empty walls before you cover the walls.

 

2. WOOD:

Replace the rotten wood (duh)! It may be tempting to save time and money by cutting corners and thinking, no one is gonna know, after all you will be covering the walls, but remember you need a solid base to fasten the siding to. After all, we live in the Texas panhandle that has been known to occasionally get a bit breezy and you don’t want your new siding to blow off next week.

 

3. SIDING:

There are many types and styles of siding from steel to vinyl to hardy board each has it strengths and weaknesses. With the steel and vinyl siding, you should never have to paint again! While some hardy boards will not need paint, others will! Also consider that vinyl siding can have form fit insulation making it sturdier and more insulated!

 

When the right option for you is siding consider these siding tips from a guy who has done this for over 24 years all over the Texas Panhandle including Amarillo, from Dalhart to Pampa to Childress and a hundred other towns.

 

I always recommend doing your research and if you have any questions drop me a note. I’ll do my best to answer your questions and you can also easily schedule a free estimate. We love helping you make the best of your home.

 

Buy New Siding

WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

Last summer, the paint was peeling badly on the south and east sides of our house. Those sides get a lot of sun. The sun, combined with exposure to the rest of the weather all year, wears down the paint quickly. It had only been three years since I had the house painted for almost two thousand dollars. My neighbor had vinyl siding installed the previous year, but he said he paid a lot for it. I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself!

 

Paint is cheap, right? Not really when you consider the square footage of just one side of a house not to mention 4. Then, don’t forget the primer because the paint apparently does not work by itself. I lugged heavy buckets of paint and primer back from the home improvement store, along with brushes and rollers and rags.

 

I just wanted a quick, cheap fix so I didn’t think siding was worth it. I landed on doing it myself.

 

WEEKEND ONE: SCRAPPING

When I first got out the heavy ladder I would grow to hate and got up close, the peeling was worse than expected. My job of scraping the peeling paint just increased. I came to find that scraping is a harder chore than it looks. I spent a full weekend scraping the two sides alone.

 

WEEKEND TWO: PRIMING

The priming took another weekend of climbing up and down the infernal ladder. It seemed like every time I came down I would see a spot I missed. After buckets, brushes, rollers, and sore leg muscles, I got the priming finished.

 

WEEKEND THREE (AND FOUR): PAINTING

When the actual painting finally began, it took another weekend to paint the house, and another yet to paint the trim and fix my mistakes. By now I had paint on almost every window and ruined two pairs of old sweats. The end result looks…decent. It looks like a hapless homeowner went cheap.

 

The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. To paint or not to paint…I choose not!

 

WHAT I LEARNED

The cost of vinyl siding is more than paint, but once it is installed there’s nothing left to do. Take the hose to it once in a while to clean it off. It doesn’t ever rot or peel. And the insulation they install underneath it adds R-value to the walls. The investment may be more, but next summer we are having our house wrapped with vinyl siding. It will add significant value to the place, but I will be most thankful for not having to climb that ladder again.

Scott