Keep More of Your Money as You Keep Cool
Posted July 28, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Much of the power flowing through substations will wind up flowing right into the air. It happens when expensive air-conditioning leaks out of houses like yours. But there are ways you can stop it.
How can you keep cool air and your hard-earned money inside your house when the temperature hits triple digits?
"The first thing you need to do is look at your ceiling insulation, what you 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, and it'll stop that draw."
You should also make sure your heating and air conditioning system works properly. Check your ductwork for holes. Thermal windows will also help.
"People can close their blinds and drapes to try to keep heat out of the house from solar gain," said Hal Lowrance, CP&L residential product manager. "They can take warmer showers rather than real hot showers, so they 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 put you in touch with contractors who will bring some high tech equipment to test your house for air leaks. If you decide to add insulation, you can get a low-interest loan from the power company to do it, and a break on your power bills later. Other utilities also offer similar programs.