SunWhich city experiences the worst Texas summer: Houston with its humidity, San Antonio and Austin with the dry heat, or Dallas which can get a little bit of everything? Let’s not forget about our neighbors to the west in El Paso and the north in Lubbock and Amarillo. The Texas heat is record breaking – in fact, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston all made Current Results’ list of the cities with the highest temperatures in June, July and August.

Unfortunately, Texans can’t take a three month hiatus just to avoid the heat. Instead, many homeowners are turning to energy efficient cooling and outdoor solutions to enjoy the summer months without getting burned. Many of these options also have the benefit of increasing your home’s value when you add features that lessen its environmental footprint.

The Federal Government allows homeowners to take advantage of an Energy Tax Credit. The credit is between 10% - 30% and covers a variety of upgrades, including central air conditioning, window replacements and insulation.

HVAC

When the temperature isn’t quite right in your home, you tend to run right to the thermostat. It might be a knee-jerk reaction, but if your heating and cooling system goes out when you need it the most – you know you’re in trouble. If you even think that the air conditioner might be on the fritz, call a professional HVAC specialist before the situation worsens.

You might think you can stick it out with fans, keeping windows open, and a sputtering a/c, but you could actually be making matters worse. While it is good to air out your home every once in a while, that can also prevent your home’s insulation from retaining cool air. And, if your windows and insulation are outdated and inefficient, your efforts could be turning your home into an oven.

Windows

Your home’s windows serve so many purposes. Over time, shifts in the foundation and cracks can start a chain reaction that makes your home less efficient. There are several window replacement options that homeowners can choose from. If this is your first time upgrading or shopping for windows, consider what window types will fit your home’s style and also increase its resale value.

Radiant Barrier

If your home’s air conditioning system and windows are in perfect condition, but your home is still not retaining cool air, the problem might be your insulation. Unless you were involved in the building process of your home, or you have done remodeling in the past, the insulation process might as well be a foreign language.

Traditional attic insulation solutions protect against conduction and convection heat transfers. However, radiation is the primary way that homes lose the ability to retain cold air in the summer and heat in the winter. If your home can’t maintain the temperatures that the air conditioner and windows are working hard to keep, then you can still see spikes in your energy bill.

Radiant barrier insulation from eShield™ and Green Energy™ fills in the gaps of your old insulation. It can also be applied over existing insulation, which minimizes costs.

Pergolas

It’s great to have a home that’s cooled during the summer, but staying indoors can make you a little stir-crazy. Pergolas are popular home additions in Texas because everyone knows the value of shade. In many suburbs, the trees are not tall enough to provide the shade coverage you want. Pergolas shield you from the sun and can also be used as entertaining spaces.

Summer is here, but you don’t have to suffer through it. Contact us today to have a solution customized for your needs. For more information on the tax credit, visit http://www.energystar.gov.