New Visitors Privacy Policy Sponsorship Contact Us Media
Baby Boomers Family Green Home and Auto In Critical Condition Just Starting Out Lifestyle Money
- advertisement -
Bankrate.com
News & Advice Compare Rates Calculators
Rate Alerts  |  Glossary  |  Help
Mortgage Home
Equity
Auto CDs &
Investments
Retirement Checking &
Savings
Credit
Cards
Debt
Management
College
Finance
Taxes Personal
Finance

 
Saving on cooling costs with solar camping blanket

Our latest Frugal $ense winning tip helps out families who are trying to keep cool during the summer months but are faced with the daunting task of keeping the hot sun from creeping through windows and heating up your home.

- advertisement -

Winner Jacque Zirtzman, of Manchester, Iowa, suggests visiting a camping equipment store and picking up a $2 solar camping blanket. Taping the blanket to windows that receive extensive exposure to the sun can reduce your cooling bills. This uber-saver on auto-pilot has a treasure trove of money saving ideas. She shared just a few of them with Bankrate. Mostly, Zirtzman says, "Think outside the box" when coming up with a way to cut costs.

Jacque Zirtzman, the winner of the Frugal $ense contest for May, saves money on cooling costs by applying a solar camping blanket to windows that receive all day sun exposure. Congratulations, Jacque!

Frugal $ense winners: Jacque Zirtzman
Save money by reflecting sun away from windows

"When you are faced with unwanted heat coming through windows, yes, you can buy lots of different things on the market to keep the heat out. But if you go to the camping section at your discount store, for approximately $1.98 you can buy a solar camping blanket, all folded up.

"One blanket will do three typical windows and reduces heat by 40 percent or more, making the house dramatically cooler. If you use air conditioning, this makes it work less hard. I did put a piece on the exterior of my window air conditioner to repel the heat, and that helped it work without so much effort.

Read more tips  
Submit your tip
  Jacque Zirtzman

Bankrate: How did you come up with this idea?

Jacque: Well, I had seen people use film on windows and that is permanent. It's hard to hang and it's expensive and if you're not really adept at hanging stuff, you can mess it up in a heartbeat. So I thought, OK, so between that and seeing the reflective things people put in their car windshields, I thought OK, reflection is the thing, that's what we need.

We had the sun beating in on several windows that was just unbearable; you could hardly stand to be in the room. So I went and got the camping blanket for $1.98 and it would cover my three windows. I just tape it up at the top. The beautiful thing is that you can still see through it.

Bankrate: What's your estimate on the reduction in light coming through the windows?

Jacque: It is a little tinted; it might be like looking through sunglasses. But you can still see everything. It doesn't really block vision, it blocks heat.

Bankrate: How many windows can one blanket cover?

Jacque: Because the blankets are so huge, you can do a lot of windows with one. I don't know of anything any cheaper. You can refold it, put it away, and use it next spring or summer.

Bankrate: Any other secrets to saving money and cutting costs?

Jacque: In the laundry area, the cheapest thing to do is have a clothesline. But when I do use the dryer, I always keep a couple of thirsty beach towels around, depending on the size of my load; it will cut the drying time by at least 50 percent. I hang out almost all of my clothes, except for my husband's socks and underwear from work. ... Without a towel it took about 70 minutes in my dryer. So I threw in my beach towel, the next time, same amount, and it took about 20 minutes.

Bankrate: That's a pretty big reduction for just using something that most people already have lying around. How are you dealing with high gas prices these days?

Jacque: Currently it is about $3.89 per gallon. I did a couple of my own little random tests to see where I get the best gas mileage because I have a large car, a '93 Cadillac. I took my daughter over to Des Moines and back and I averaged 24.9 miles per gallon. Unless you're in a gigantic hurry, I am amazed that by slowing down you will definitely improve your gas mileage. I group all my errands and when I have to go somewhere I am not in a hurry.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: June 25, 2008
 
 
Create a news alert for "frugal"
 
 RESOURCES
Get Frugal News weekly
Submit your winning tip
30 ways to save money
 TOP PERSONAL FINANCE STORIES
Video: 5 myths about going green
5 myths about going green
Video: Ways to keep produce fresh
 

Compare Rates
NATIONAL OVERNIGHT AVERAGES
30 yr fixed mtg 4.45%
48 month new car loan 3.77%
1 yr CD 0.89%
Rates may include points
RELATED CALCULATORS
  How much life insurance do I need?  
  Calculate your payment on any loan  
  What will it take to save for a goal?  
VIEW ALL  
BASICS SERIES
Begin with personal finance fundamentals:
Auto Loans
Checking
Credit Cards
Debt Consolidation
Insurance
Investing
Home Equity
Mortgages
Student Loans
Taxes
Retirement
FINANCIAL LITERACY
Rev up your portfolio
with these tips and tricks.
- advertisement -
- advertisement -

About Bankrate | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Online Media Kit | Partnerships | Investor Relations | Press Room | Contact Us | Sitemap
NYSE: RATE | RSS Feeds |

* Mortgage rate may include points. See rate tables for details. Click here.
* To see the definition of overnight averages click here.

Bankrate.com ®, Copyright © 2014 Bankrate, Inc., All Rights Reserved, Terms of Use.