Summer Energy Savings

Summer is here! The summer season is among us and it is time to make some energy saving decisions to stay cool and save money. After comparing three different energy sites, I found a variety of helpful tips to keep your bills under control this summer. So grab a cold drink, put your feet up, and read on.
Air conditioners (A/C) are a must in the sweltering heat of summer. Not only do they keep your thighs from sticking to the leather furniture, they keep allergens at bay for those with seasonal allergies. Don’t turn your air to Arctic blast mode, it may make your house a safe haven from the humidity of the season but it is costly. Keep your air as high as comfortable when you are at home. Use a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temp at different times during the day. When no one is home, set the temps higher and lower them when the family is home. Make sure registers are not being blocked by dust or other particles that will clog air flow. Cleaning debris off your registers has the added benefit of keeping your allergies under control as well. Also, replace filters often to insure proper performance for you air system and to keep your home’s air quality healthy.
Fans are another great and affordable source to keep your house comfortable. Whether it’s a window, ceiling, or an oscillating fan, a wind chill effect is caused by the rotating blades to keep your house in cooler conditions. When using a ceiling fan with the regular A/C, you can turn the thermostat down 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort according to Window fans are best used facing away from the room to push hot air from your home. Windows near shaded, outdoor areas provide the best air intake. Oscillating fans distribute air to a bigger area and ensure more people stay cool. Keeping blinds closed during the heat of the day will help maintain cooler temps and help the fans in spreading cool air.
You may not realize, but the use of certain appliances can generate more heat and rack up your bills. An easy way to stay cool as a cucumber is to only run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night; better yet, dry your clothes outside. The clothes dryer accounts for 12% of the electricity used in a typical household. You can erase 100% of that cost by simply hanging your clothes to dry. Using the microwave, toaster oven, or outdoor grill instead of the stove will greatly decrease the heat you put out. Plus most appliances today are energy efficient and use less than half the energy of a model 12 years or older. Look for the Energy Star label when purchasing small or large household appliances.
Lastly, a few tidbits to keep in mind so you don’t feel burned by the heat or your bills, is to unplug your appliances when they are not in use. Appliances still pull energy and emit heat even when they are not on. Make sure your house has adequate insulation and seal up places that may leak cool air with weather stripping or caulk. Using these simple tips will keep you cool as ice and save you money for that trip to the pool.

Western Fraternal Life Golf Outing

The Education and Charitable Foundation hosted the eighth annual Golf Outing Fundraiser on June 13, 2014. On that beautiful day, 64 golfers headed out to try their luck on the course. The course had three specialty prize holes, two Holes in Ones and closest to the pin. The Hole in One challenges were far too difficult for the golfers as no one was able to win the $1,000 cash prize from Millhiser Smith or the $10,000 flooring makeover sponsored by Randy’s Carpet of Cedar Rapids. The closest to the pin, which golfers paid $5 to enter, was won by Dick Larson. Dick won an overnight stay at the Marriot in Cedar Rapids. The two longest putt contests were won by golfers Mark Elsinger and Kevin Paulsen.

anita and judy DSCN0635     Thank you to all the golfers and sponsors who came out to support the Education and Charitable Foundation again this year. Over $7,300 was raised to help support the Charitable Foundation. If you are interested in supporting Western Fraternal Life’s Education and Charitable Foundation, contact Jack Minder at 1-877-935-2467 ext. 113 for more information.

The Western Fraternal Life Education and Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It was formed to allow individuals to make tax-deductible donations to provide financial support toward the continued education of Western Fraternal Life members and to support charitable purposes.