Author Topic: COST of eco/energy-friendly improvements and minding the summer heat  (Read 2675 times)


  • Stubble
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  • Location: Not in a tropical, underpopulated location. And that's just wrong.
  • What Would MacGyver Do?
Hey folks,

Summer is coming upon us and this will be my first full length summer in my new home. When the home was inspected I realized there was no attic vent installed and I put down on my "thing to price out" list. Home improvement sites are filled with the benefits of attic vents, so I figured for sure I would need one.

Well I had a long conversation with a friendly and reputable roofing company and boy was I surprised! First, they were adamant that solar attic vents were not nearly effective enough, the standard electric was the way to do. Second, all though after some haggling they gave me a $100 cut on the estimate, for the roofer and electrician's service plus cost of the vent, this will run $575! I also asked the company's co-owner, "how much will the electric vent run me monthly for operating costs?" ... "A little over a dollar a month."

I very rarely run my heat or air conditioning (electricity averages $64 a month for a two-story) but I figured the attic vent would help my home and its "southern exposure" from over heating in July. But I'm no longer convinced the cost would be worth the reduced heat in my home. 

Any suggestions on more cost effective alternatives to an attic vent that will help reduce my home's heat in the summer? Per MMM's blog on  "how to destroy your AC bill" (it was titled something like that....), I open up the windows at night to let the cool air in (now that the pollen count has reduced, this is an option!!) but that won't be so effective by June when it's in the 80s/high 70s at night. I also have a fan in my bedroom running overnight.

A disadvantage of this region, we have very cold winters (sometimes feet of snow) and up to the 100s in summer - there is no happy medium!

One alternative, I figured that from June - August I would stay at work later into the evening to avoid much of the heat of my house. In August, I'm moving to another work location -- biking distance from home!! -- and that may also help with adaptation to the heat.

Has any tried a portable AC unit? I purchased (on sale, of course) an oil/electric heaters for winter and kept it in my bedroom. The rest of the house was 59 degrees so I basically lived in my bedroom until March/April LOL, I'm not certain the energy consumption would be as low with a portable AC unit for the bedroom, however.

Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions!