The almanac is predicting a summer with record setting temperatures for 2014. In addition to higher temperatures, the almanac says we can also expect minimal rainfall. Thus, drought, higher food prices, and an increase in wildfires are all possible realities for the American people this summer. Furthermore, with an expectation of August temperatures to be seen by June, citizens can expect higher electricity bills as their air condition works overdrive to reject the outdoors scorching temperatures. With the heating and cooling systems accounting for an average of 54% of a homeowners bill expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, it’s safe to say that there may be less investment in seaside vacations and more in back yard kiddie pools.

Fortunately, there are many inexpensive DIY projects homeowners can take on that will provide significant differences in the efficiency of their home. From the simplest of efforts like swapping old light bulbs out for fluorescent bulbs or regularly changing air filters, homeowners can see results in savings. One of the most important of these simple changes may also be one of the easiest.

‘Sealing the cracks’ is one of the biggest changes homeowners can take on. Small spaces between windows and the wall may seem to be too minute of a problem to actually be a problem, but research reveals the importance of creating a protective envelope around your house. This envelope keeps the cool air in and the hot heat out. When cool air escapes from the small cracks between door frames and windows, air conditioning units have to work harder to compensate for both the lost cool air along with the infiltration of outdoor temperatures. Simply filling these spaces with caulk from your local hardware store is a simple and quick change homeowners can make to create a more energy-efficient environment.

Sealing the cracks can also be accomplished from fitting windows with a proper encasement that seals it off from exterior elements. In a report by MSN, home inspector Scott Hubbard is referenced in regards to the importance of fitting interior windows with dressings that have UV reflective capabilities. Regular blinds cut the glare from entering a home’s interior but does not reject the heat that accompanies it. Installing shades with light reflective properties will create a protective barrier for a home’s interior, resulting in higher energy efficiency and lower heating and cooling bills. Technology developed for NASA is now available for homeowners to reduce the amount of energy transference through your windows. Halcyon Shades use space age technology to cut your energy spend anywhere from 10-30% (as stated by DOE). To learn more about these innovative window blinds click here.

With the almanacs predicted summer weather, homeowners’ pockets won’t be empty due to ‘fun in the sun’, but rather sucked dry by the dollar-hungry energy monster. No matter the ‘handy’ abilities of the homeowner or their budget, the smallest changes can be made to save money to invest in getting out of the backyard for summer vacation. So this summer I encourage all of you to ‘seal the cracks’ and stop feeding the monster!