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May 21, 2013

With the Southern Utah heat beating down, it is easy to rack up a large energy bill when running air conditioning in a home, but some weatherization improvements to a home can cut costs in more way than one.

As temperatures continue to be in the mid-90s and are on the rise, some homeowners may feel an air conditioner is their only way to beat the heat; however, making improvements on seals, insulation and windows can help cool down a home.

Doug Carlson, the director for the weatherization program with the Five County Association of Governments, said there is no particular time people should start weatherizing their home. Although, as seasons change, there are some different options people can use to accommodate the weather.

“Probably the No. 1 thing is insulation,” Carlson said.

Richard Knaub, project leader in weatherization and workforce development at the National Renewable Energy laboratory, said it will take more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature if there is a large difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures.

“Adding insulation between the indoors and the outdoors reduces the energy demand,” Knaub said. “Depending on where you live, the savings from insulating your walls and the attic could be almost double the savings of air sealing.”

Carlson said keeping drapes and blinds shut during the day will oftentimes help keep a home cool enough that an air-conditioning unit doesn’t have to run as long.

“The next thing would be to do air sealing: put weather stripping around doors,” Carlson said. “During the summer and hotter months, put a sun screen up or tint on the windows to keep the heat from coming into the windows.”

According to Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit organization promoting clean energy, cleaning or replacing air conditioning cooling filters monthly will also save money on energy costs.

Carlson said utility rates fluctuate, and if rates go up, it may not seem like homeowners are saving money; however, homeowners would be reducing their energy burden.

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Posted: May 21, 2013 8:18pm
Jan 31, 2013

Even though countries are burning unprecedented amounts of oil and gas, the estimates of how much is left 

continue to grow, thanks to high prices and new technologies that have enabled companies to find and 

extract new resources. A decade ago, it was the tar sands of Canada and Venezuela. More recently, 

hydraulic-fracturing technologies have opened up oil and gas resources in the United States. Across the globe, 

proven oil and gas reserves are 60% higher today than they were in 1991. At current consumption rates, those 

reserves would last for about 60 years — and that could be extended by new discoveries and unconventional 

deposits. Coal reserves have not increased in size, but the supply will last for at least a century at current rates 

of consumption.

Renewables such as solar and wind power are growing faster than any other source of energy, but are barely 

making a dent in fossil-fuel consumption. The scale of the challenge will only grow as the expanding global 

population requires more energy. This tour of global and regional energy trends makes clear that even with 

aggressive action to reduce energy consumption and curb emissions, fossil fuels will be around for a very 

long time.

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Posted: Jan 31, 2013 6:33pm


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Michale C.
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Deerfield Beach, FL, USA
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