Sun Proofing Your Home
When spending time in bright Carolina sunshine, you quickly learn to appreciate sunscreen. One BAD sunburn that makes sitting or sleeping is painful will teach you to take protective measures with yourself and family in the future. What about defending your home? Expensive items like rugs, furniture (especially leather or fabric), wooden floors and family photos often need repair or replacement because of exposure to harmful UV rays. Aside from obvious measures like blocking light with curtains or blinds, installing windows with laminated or low-E coated glass is one solution that filters out as much as 99% of harmful UV rays- while letting you continue to enjoy the sunshine. If you prefer your current windows, another option is window film. It filters UV light and makes windows more resistant to breakage.
SC Fast Growing Shade Trees
My happiest memories are of days with a book and blanket beneath my favorite tree. The Arbor Day Foundation says that strategically
planting the right trees can conserve energy (which lowers bills!) while helping fight climate change. The central SC area falls into Zone 8 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which tells where which trees work best.
Want your own shady oasis? Try one of these faster-growing trees:
– Crape Myrtle: 15-25 ft x 10-30 ft
– River Birch: 40-60 ft x 40-70 ft
– Elm: 30-60 ft x 30-70 ft
– Sweetbay Magnolia: 15-25 ft x 40-50 ft
Electric Bill Blues
– Replace AC unit filters monthly to save money – dirty filters kill efficiency.
– Scheduling a yearly AC Unit Checkup with a local HVAC professional will also help.
– Be smart about cooking and running appliances that generate heat during hotter hours:
– Reduce A/C unit strain and lower utility bills by using ovens, dishwashers & clothes dryers at night.
– Install a Programmable Thermostat to preset temperatures for different times of day and avoid excess cooling costs.
One popular option is Nest’s – Learning Thermostat:
– Learns your preferred temperatures & programs itself
– Automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home
– Connects to Wi‑Fi (allowing phone or computer control)
– Teaches good habits by displaying a leaf when energy saving temperatures are chosen.
– Reduces average bill by 10-15%, paying for itself in under