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Keep More of Your Money as You Keep Cool

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RALEIGH — Much of the power flowing through substations will wind up flowing rightinto the air. It happens when expensive air-conditioning leaks out ofhouses like yours. But there are ways you can stop it.

How can you keep cool air and your hard-earned money inside your housewhen the temperature hits triple digits?

"The first thing you need to do is look at your ceiling insulation, whatyou could add there," said Randy Rainey, Capitol Insulation supervisor."Heat rises, and it'll draw air in, and it'll draw it through the windows,if you have bad windows and stuff, but enough insulation in the attic, andit'll stop that draw."

You should also make sure your heating and air conditioning system worksproperly. Check your ductwork for holes. Thermal windows will also help.

"People can close their blinds and drapes to try to keep heat out of thehouse from solar gain," said Hal Lowrance, CP&L residential productmanager. "They can take warmer showers rather than real hot showers, sothey add less humidity."

Use your microwave instead of your stove or oven to help keep things cool.And a good fan never hurts.

Finally, you can try beefing up the insulation in your walls and floors,but that can be very expensive and often the least productive.

Many homes more than 40 years old don't have any insulation in their walls,but ripping out the sheetrock to remedy that situation will cost you plenty. If you call 1-800-664-7867, a CP&L help line, operators will putyou in touch with contractors who will bring some high tech equipment totest your house for air leaks. If you decide to add insulation, you canget a low-interest loan from the power company to do it, and a break onyour power bills later. Other utilities also offer similar programs.

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