Simmer DOWN!

14 Jun

Lately, as the temperature starts to warm up, my email is starting to fill up, with questions about “affordability, sustainability, and that mother of all dragons, energy efficiency”.

Here on RR, we’re all about Affordability (after all, I’m teaching you to build a home using the pennies that your boss calls “your paycheck”), Sustainability (because being nice to Mother Nature just makes good sense) and Energy Efficiency (because being frugal with power makes YOU cents).

Part of living in an ISBU based home is being a PART of the solution. ALL of the solutions…

This includes making the home work for YOU, instead of you always working for the HOME.

In the South, when the temperature starts to climb, local temperatures do, as well. In fact, the natives get downright unpleasant  and restless.

So, lot’s of people are looking for solutions to heat related problems.

Some resort to drinking enough “frosty cold ones” to drown most mortal men, but still… they get overheated. Okay… alcohol doesn’t work.  And the roof isn’t the best place to drink beer. The ground is HARD… So… What next?

Some resort to moving to another locale, but frankly, in this economy, it’s not likely for most as “a solution”.

I mean, I like tropical beaches as much as the next guy, but mine is covered in oil (or soon will be) and I can’t afford to move to “the good ones”.

So, that’s not a solution, either…

So, I need to actually DO SOMETHING to combat the heat.

Now, for lots of readers, the immediate question is:

“How do I make more power?”

But, I propose that the real question should be;

“How do I use LESS power and stay cool?”

While I’m an advocate of using Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs), saving power by switching to them just lets you see the sweat running down your forehead.

It will affect your power bill, but it won’t solve your immediate problem.

You can unplug all the appliances and battery chargers that you aren’t using. Cell phone chargers and iPod chargers still draw power, whether your phone or player is attached to them or not.

Again… power savings, but I’m still H-O-T!

Okay, what’s next?

You can add a solar sunspace, or even a few more Photovoltaic panels to your array, to offset your enrgy usage. But, that’s expensive, and it still doesn’t solve your biggest problem. You’re HOT.

Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can improve the comfort levels in their house, and use LESS power… by insulating it and sealing up all the leaks.

A weathertight and well insulated house is an energy efficient house.

First, caulk all the window joints in your house, inside and out. Then, install sunshades on the windows, to cut down on heat gain.

And then… break out the big guns. That’s right… Insulation.

And, there are a ton of insulation options;

Fiberglass batts (EWWWW!)

Sawdust (okay, I suppose… but not for me)

Cellulose Fiber (better)

Old Blue Jeans and cotton shreds (um…. okay)

… and my personal favorite (fanfare please!)

SPF! Spray-On Closed Cell Foam!

(And YES! You can too do it yourself. I teach people to do it every day. Okay, maybe not EVERY DAY, but on quite a few days…)

Regardless of the method you choose, super-insulating your house will keep the “cool” in, and the “hot” out…

NOW… think about upgrading that old HVAC system you have, and I bet that you’ll save money, stay cool, and be a lot more pleasant to be around…

Stay tuned…

And since you’re saving money… How about helping us keep this blog running?

A few bucks goes a long way towards helping us write posts, maintain computers, and keeping you informed! We need your help? How about it?

There’s a Paypal button on the top of the page!

One Response to “Simmer DOWN!”

  1. Madrigorne June 15, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Hey there Ronin, how goes the hunt for build sites?

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