The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on June 30, 1999 · Page 28
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June 30, 1999

The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 28

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Galveston, Texas
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Wednesday, June 30, 1999
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Page 28
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C8 THE DULY NEWS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 1999 GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS 10 ways to beat the heat — inexpensively I T\V<> books examine nuts The Associated Press No, it's not your imagination — it definitely is getting hotter. In fact, the eight warmest years on record occurred over the past decade. But staying cool this summer doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay a fortune to keep the air-conditioning running day and night. Here are 10 tips, most costing less than $25, that will keep you comfortable and cut the typical $1,000 cooling bill by as much as half. What's needed to get the temperature to drop? Only a little time and a change or two in your routine. Set the dial a bit higher • If you have central air, set your thermostat above 78 F (all temperatures cited here are in degrees Fahrenheit). You'll save 5 percent to 8 percent on cooling costs with each degree above that mark. For a typical household, setting the thermostat at 80 F saves 10 percent to 15 percent; raising it to 85 F will save 35 percent to 55 percent. When you leave home for more than one hour, set the thermostat to 85 F or 90 F. Reset it upon your return, and the room will cool down in only 15 minutes. The system will use less energy during the cool-down period than if you had left it running at a lower setting while you were out. Cost: $0. Benefit: 15 percent to 20 percent or more off your cooling bill. • A fan, which costs 2 to 5 cents per hour to operate, will make a room feel 4 degrees to 6 degrees cooler. Cost: Ceiling fans range from $30 to $200. Floor fans cost around $20, and whole-house fans run from $300 to $600. Benefit: Ceiling fans can decrease your cooling bill by up to 15 percent, while a whole-house fan can slash it by 50 percent. • "Texas cool" is a morning and evening routine that takes advantage of cool outdoor temperatures at night and keeps the heat at bay as much as possible during daylight hours. It's very simple to do: At night when the temperature drops, open windows and bring in cool air with window fans or a whole- house fan. As soon as the sun comes up or the air starts to heat up, shut the windows and shades and keep doors closed. Cost: $0 (plus minimal fan use). Benefit: 20 percent to 50 percent off your cooling bill. • As much as 20 percent of summer heat enters your home as sunlight shining through windows. To cut "solar gain," add curtains or blinds to rooms that get direct sun and draw them in daylight hours. Cost: $8 to $100 per window. Benefit: Up to 20 percent off your cooling bill. • A programmable thermostat lets you preset temperatures for different times of the day, so air-conditioning is working only when you are home. Cost: $30 to $50. Benefit: Up to 20 percent off your cooling bill. • Any appliance that generates heat adds to your cooling load. An oven baking cookies can easily raise the room temperature 10 degrees, which in turn jacks up overall cooling costs 2 percent to 5 percent. Save cooking (especially baking) for cooler hours, or cook outdoors on your grill. It is also a good idea to run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night. Cost: $0. Benefit: 2 percent to 5 percent off your cooling costs. • Incandescent bulbs don't contribute as much heat as un- shaded windows, but they do add heat to a house and can raise the perceived temperature, sending you to the thermostat to seek relief. To reduce this hot- light effect and save lighting costs year-round, replace incandescent bulbs with compact flu- orescents. Cost: $12 to $25 per bulb. Benefit: Up to 5 percent off your cooling bill plus electricity savings. Snug up the ducts. • Leaky ducts can cut into air-conditioning efficiency. Ductwork must be balanced between the supply and return sides of the system in order for it to work safely and efficiently, so making a repair in one section PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY! Get a quote from Rest Insurance today. HOME MOBILE Best INSURANCE GALVESTON TEXAS CITY .(409)621-2886 (409)986-9611 AUTO -.NEXTTOWALMART 2115J1SLSL, AT MALL OF MAINLAND LEAGUE CITY (281)554-4444 1524 E. MAIN Kids who read are kids who succeed If your child loves reading, then help him or her use reading to achieve academic and personal success. At Sylvan, we help students gain a competitive edge by improving reading comprehension and enhancing critical thinking skills. To find out how our reading programs can help your child excel, call Sylvan today. 2501 Palmer Hwy., Suite 200 Texas City (409) 948-4000 SYLVAN LEARNING CENTER* Success is learned www.educate.com © 1998 Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. can cause a problem in another. Cost: $75 to start for a service call. Benefit: Up to 40 percent off your cooling bill. • The places where cold air infiltrates in winter are routes for hot air in summer. And what's worse, hot air is often accompanied by high humidity, making you even more uncomfortable. Concentrate on the attic, basement and crawl space; pay close attention to anything that passes through a ceiling or wall, such as ductwork, electrical or plumbing conduits and kitchen and bath vents. Cost: $6 to $25 Benefit: Up to 10 percent off your cooling bill. • The temperature in your attic can reach 150 F on a hot summer day, a situation that if left unchecked can drive up cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. If your attic has less than R-22 insulation — 7 inches of fiberglass or rock wool, or 6 inches of cellulose — you should add more. Also make sure your attic is ventilated. When reroofing, use white or pale'-gray shingles instead of dark ones. These keep the attic cooler than dark shingles. Cost: $25 each for gable-end vents; $200-for ridge-and-soffit ventilation in a new roof Benefit: Longer shingle life, and up to 20 percent off your cooling bill. and bolts of Home Depot The Associated Press ATLANTA - The cofounders of Home Depot have thrived on competition in the home-improvement retail industry. Now, as they tell their company's story in a new book, they have competition there, too. A month before "Built From Scratch" (Times Books, $24.95) by company chairman Bernie Marcus and CEO Arthur Blank hit the bookstores, journalist Chris Roush was out with "Inside Home Depot" (McGraw-Hill, $24.95), which the jacket proclaims as "Unauthorized! Not sponsored or approved by the Home Depot." However, despite that somewhat provocative appeal, there's still more dirt in the stores' garden departments than in either book. While the two books differ in emphasis, both tell an American business success story. And there's plenty of material to go around in a 20- year history that's seen Home Depot grow from a single store that literally couldn't buy customers in Atlanta to a $30-billion company that has started to reach beyond North America for continued growth. "They're just getting started," Roush said. They've begun international expansion, they've got the small- store format; there are still a lot of towns that don't even have stores yet." Roush's book tells the Home Depot story as its~own how-to for business people. He traces the company history while presenting its strategies in the form of management lessons. "I think people want to know why they've been successful," said Roush, whose book delves into the Home Depot's 'Taoot camp" training designed to make sure employees are devoted to customer service and loyal to company values. Both books recount how Marcus and Blank were fired from the Handy Dan hardware chain for their alleged role in a union decertification effort. They denied wrongdoing, and Roush concluded that subsequent events cleared them — while freeing them to begin their own concept of large warehouse stores with giant inventories, low prices and skilled, helpful employees. Had Marcus and Blank not been summarily fired, Roush writes, "maybe today Handy Dan would be the world's biggest home center retailer — and no one would have ever heard about Home Depot." "Built From Scratch" poses its own what-ifs, such as recounting talks with Texas billionaire and maverick politician Ross Perot that nearly led to Perot's becoming majority owner of the new company. 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