7 Things that will Keep your House Hot in the Summer

A heat wave is hitting the east and upper Midwest this week, with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. Sometimes, it's not just the humidity. 

I dread these months in the sweltering Texas sun; escaping the heat wrath is nearly impossible. We've identified the top sneaky heat catchers and how to remedy them. These simple do-it-yourself and professional options will drastically improve the efficiency of your system and save you big bucks.

Culprit #1: Breeze Blowing Through Doors and Windows

Examine windows and doors for daylight shining through cracks. If you're working with a low budget, buy weather sriping or rubber that is sticky on a single side and will cut airflow.

Rubber is preferable as it wears better. Whichever substance you use, however, it's important you lay the stripping so it makes tight contact with the door or window.

Culprit #2: Poor Wall Insulation  
This high-cost item must be replaced if it was installed poorly the first time, and particularly if their's no insulation in your walls. You'll want to hire professionals as serious damage can result if you DIY. Insulating cavity walls saves up to 15 percent off energy bills and typically repays your investment within two years.

Culprit #3: Old Putty
Examine putty around windows and doors. If cracked, no doubt hot air is creeping in. Remove the old putty and apply a brand new layer.

Culprit #4: Outdated A/C Units
You air-conditioning unit may be working overtime if air is escaping your house everywhere.  If your unit is 12 years or older, consider replacing it with Energy Star equipment, which saves you cash in the long run. If you plan on moving in the next few years, you may prefer to insulate your home, rather than go through a major overhaul.

Culprit #5: Static Thermostat
My thermostat has one indicator and a thermometer-style gauge that reads anywhere between 71 and 78, depending on how you look at it. To deal with this problem, I bought a programmable thermostat that can be set for specific temperatures during different parts of the day. For less than $30 a Honeywell programmable thermostat can save you up to $400 per year.

Culprit #6: Poorly Planned Duct Work
A good duct cleaning can charge several hundred dollars but it's worth the cost to identify problem areas and thoroughly cleanse the pipes. You may gothe DIY route, but I'd suggest getting a bid first.

Culprit #7: Not Enough Roof Insulation
Few builders use fiberglass anymore as there are cheaper options that are easier to install and more cost efficient. You should hire a certified installer for this job.

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