Another sweltering Tampa Bay summer is always right around the corner — and as we all know, with warmer temperatures come higher utility bills. The heating and cooling pros at Blair’s Air want to help you beat the heat while saving money too. Try these easy and cheap DIY projects that will help stay cool and comfortable for less this summer and beyond.
1. DIY Laundry Drying Racks
Did you know laundry dryers account for around six percent of annual electricity usage in the U.S.? That figure amounts to nearly the same amount of total electricity used each year in Massachusetts.
Are you curious how much it costs to run your own home’s dryer? Here’s how to calculate this annual expense:
- Step 1: Look up your dryer’s heating element rating in your user manual.
- Step 2: Multiply the kilowatt rating by your hourly kilowatt cost. (Dryer’s kX rating) x (price per kWh)
- Step 3: Your total will be the price you pay per load of laundry, per hour.
- Step 4: If you want to see your annual cost of using your dryer, multiply the amount you totaled in the previous step by the number of loads you dry each month.
If the number you find at the end of this exercise is one you’d like to live without, you may want to consider building a functional and minimal home drying rack of your own.
Not sure how? There are lots of tutorials online, but these are some of our favorites:
2. Frost Your Windows for Style and Savings
Summer months mean a hotter sun, especially in Tampa Bay. When rays of sun enter through your home’s windows, your air conditioner is forced to work harder and run longer. Ultimately, this means higher monthly electrical bills for you. Consider frosting or tinting your windows to keep hot sunlight from spilling through. It’s a project that is just as effective as it is chic.
3. Insulate Windows and Doors
Windows tend to have a lot of air leakage. Beat the draft by insulating your windows. It’s easy and definitely effective if you are looking for ways to save energy this spring and summer. Notice any air leaks along your exterior doors? Time to get caulking! Your attic door is another spot that might go unnoticed, but it could be leaking air in or out of your home if it’s not airtight.
4. DIY Rain Barrel
The average rainfall each year in Tampa amounts to nearly 54 inches. Did you know that just one inch of rainfall over a 1,000-sq.-ft. roof produces as much as 600 gallons of water? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a rain barrel can help homeowners save around 1,300 gallons of water during the height of warmer weather, and lowers water bills by somewhere around $35 a month in the summer.
Commercial rain barrels cost between $50 and $200, but you can make your own for as little as $10 to $15 if you are thrifty and willing to invest some time into the project. Here’s what you’ll need to make it happen:
- Drill and drill bits
- Metal cutting shears
- Jig saw with wood blade
- Hand saw with metal blade
- Screwdrivers (phillips and flathead)
- 2’ or 4’ level
- Old window screen
- Flex-A-Spout (you can find this at your local hardware store)
- White sheet metal screws for gutters, 4
- 1” bolts with washers and nuts, 8 to 10
5. Adjust the Location and Temperature of Your Water Heater
While temperatures are high during spring and summer, another easy way for you to save on energy costs is to lower the temperature on your home’s water heater. Also, assess the location of your hot water tank as they can be affected by room temperature. Insulate the water heater so it doesn’t have to work overtime and your energy bills don’t spike. Hot water tanks can be affected by room temperature.
What are you waiting for? Gather your supplies and get started on some DIY projects today. Remember, the weather waits for no one.
Call Tampa’s Best Air Conditioning Experts at Blair’s Air
If you are experiencing leaky ductwork or other energy inefficient problems that need to be assessed by a trained professional, don’t wait. Call Blair’s Air today at (727) 800-4148 to ensure your cooling comfort is here to stay through every season.