I love summer, it’s definitely one of my favorite seasons! There’s nothing quite like relaxing with friends and family at backyard barbecues, enjoying beautiful flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables in the garden, but the one thing I despise most about my favorite season is the high power bill. Isn’t that the worst? According to Today’s Homeowner and home improvement expert, Danny Lipford if you replace your air filters, windows and add insulation in your home, you can save money on your power bill! Danny was kind enough to join me for an interview recently where he dished on everything you need to improve your home’s interior and exterior and save not just for summer, but all year round.
Candace Rose: With summer nearly officially upon us, what are some projects homeowners should attempt now before it gets too hot?
Danny Lipford: “Anything that you’re thinking about outside your house- from any household maintenance to landscape, it’s much easier if you do it right now. This is a house that we just completed (please see video for details) in Pensacola, Florida where we did a few things that really improved the look of the house and the energy efficiency of it, because this particular house, well it needed a little help. It was a very plan 50s style contemporary home, and one of the features that it did not have and that it needed was a nice welcoming front entry way.
We solved that by simply taking some treated wood and building this very easy nice little shade arbor that really defined the entry way to keep that warm feeling to the overall entryway. We stained the wood instead of painting it. The homeowners participated in this, it helped us out a lot in staining all the components of the arbor before we put it together. We used a very high quality Flood brand wood care product for the stain. It’s actually called CWF-UV. What that means is it’s very resistant to moisture, which means it’ll be very resistant to mildew. One of the more important aspects of it is the UV protection, because that sunlight can really deteriorate wood and break down just about any finish. This has a lot of the technology that will help you keep your wood looking a lot better, and again, this is a great time to look at any of those stained areas outside your home, whether it’s the deck out back that needs to be cleaned and stained, or your fencing or even some of the siding on your house. It’s a perfect time to tackle that before we get into the triple digits.”
Candace Rose: Nobody looks forward to high power bills in the summer; what are some things we can do to ease that pain?
Danny Lipford: “If it’s in the budget and if you’re able to replace any obsolete window that you have in your house, that’s also a great way to go. What the homeowners did is they replaced all of their old single paned aluminum windows with brand new vinyl replacement windows that are double paned. This is not a do it yourself project, this is one much better left to the professionals. They went straight to the top and went with Window World. They install more windows in the United States than any other company. They came out, measured all of the openings and custom made the windows for those openings. They came back out after a couple weeks, and in less than two weeks they replaced all of the windows in the house and immediately the homeowners realized a big difference there in the comfort level of inside. Of course they were also very comfortable knowing that they’re saving 20-30%, and another thing about insulated windows that maybe people not realize is there are a lot of loud neighborhoods, and to tell you the truth, this is a loud neighborhood because there’s an airport just a couple miles away, there’s planes and helicopters flying all over here and it can be very loud. The double paned final windows serve as a great sound barrier to prevent that type of sound from affecting viewing television and having those great family conversations around dinnertime. That’s a very beneficial aspect to replacing all of your windows.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice on how we can save money inside the home?
Danny Lipford: Inside is a great do it yourself project that can save you a lot of money, to tell you the truth, Candace, it’s probably the absolute best money that you can spend as far as that return on your investment of your home improvement dollar- adding insulation to your attic. Almost no homes have adequate insulation in their attic because no matter where you live across the country, you need at least 14 inches to really be saving what you really need to save. Now you might be cringing a little bit that I’m touching this insulation, well it’s not fiberglass…it’s actually stone wool insulation from Roxul, it’s Roxul’s Comfort Bed. I’ve used a lot of insulation, and I’ve got to tell you this is pretty darn easy to install, yourself. If you’re getting in the attic, go early in the morning so that it’s not too hot, but then, grab your bread knife to cut the insulation (please see video for details). It’s fairly dense and easy to use. It doesn’t irritate you, you don’t have to wear gloves (you can if you want), but it certainly is much easier to use than other type of insulation. It’s also mildew resistant, fire resistant, and no matter what kind of insulation you have in your attic, you can benefit by having another layer of insulation right over the top of it.
Of course, other ideas, we always talk about sealing the envelope of your home. Never underestimate how caulking can help sealing around those hose bibs, windows, doors and air conditioning protrusions through the house. Anything like that that you have that’s penetrating the outside of the house, you need to seal it up. Also, weatherstripping is easy to install. You’ve got to change the filters each summer and winter, and if you buy a good quality electrostatic air filter, you have to change it maybe every three months. It’ll cost $12 – $15.
As you know, you can go to our website at TodaysHomeowner.com and get information on everything we talked about today and a lot more to help all of your viewers really deal with all of those challenges we deal with as a homeowner.”