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LaHouse Celebrating 10 Years

Published: 06/18/2018

Interested in learning how to keep your home cool during the summer, warm in winter and save money at the same time? The LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse Resource Center has exhibits and information resources that can help.

Entergy Louisiana had provided $100,000 in grants to jumpstart construction of LaHouse, a home and landscape resource center that was completed in 2008 on the edge of the university’s campus in Baton Rouge. Today, LaHouse is Storm Ready and boasts many energy efficiency features tailored for Louisiana’s climate.

“Visitors might be surprised what they discover while exploring the demonstration house and teaching center, which was dedicated to Entergy as a key contributor,” said Dr. Claudette Reichel, director of LaHouse.

“Whether you’re looking to build a new home, renovate your current home or simply enhance energy efficiency, LaHouse has resources that can help,” Reichel said. “For 10 years, we’ve offered solutions to shape your home to shape your future.”

LaHouse, Reichel added, has cutaways to reveal what is normally hidden behind walls, point-of-feature signs, tour guide videos, a unique exhibit room with models and displays and free publications about a range of solutions for comfort, efficiency and healthy indoor air in Louisiana’s hot, humid climate.

            

Dr. Claudette Reichel, LaHouse director, shows Dennis Smith, Entergy Louisiana economic development project manager, a wall cutaway in LaHouse.

“There’s no better time to tour this community asset,” said Jody Montelaro, Entergy Louisiana vice president of public affairs. “We’ve felt record temperatures in our area throughout May and haven’t even crossed into the official start of summer. By taking advantage of resources available at venues like LaHouse, you can take simple steps to lower your energy bill while also keeping your living space comfortable.”

Above-normal temperatures are a good reminder to take steps to keep your cool now and all summer long. Did you know that each degree below 78 degrees on your thermostat can increase your bill as much as 3 percent? So, if you crank down your air conditioner to 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill roughly 18 percent.

Besides setting your thermostat at 78 degrees (or more), Entergy offers these other simple, low-cost things you can do:

  • Get your A/C inspected. Inspectors can make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Make sure you change your air filters regularly. Some units require monthly cleaning or replacing.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. If you spend most of your day outside of the house, set your thermostat to automatically shut off or raise the A/C setting when you are away.
  • Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
  • Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.

For additional tips and information on room by room savings opportunities, visit: http://circuit.entergy.com/save-money/room-by-room-savings/.

              

LaHouse, 2858 Gourier Ave., Baton Rouge, is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for walk-in. self-guided tours. The facility also holds a quarterly Saturday open house with staff experts on hand (check website for dates). Groups interested in programs and guided tours should call 225-578-7913 or email lahouse@agcenter.lsu.edu.

The key to make your home easier to keep cool, Reichel said, is home improvements that reduce heat gain. That’s because what an air conditioner actually does is remove heat, not really add cooling, she said. For a typical Louisiana home, the top six investments to cut the cost of keeping cool can be found here on the LSU AgCenter website: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/topics/family_home/home/energy_water_environmental_management/best-ways-to-cut-costs-of-keeping-cool.

LaHouse is also a valuable resource for anyone planning to build a new home. In addition to the demonstration house that displays building systems, the Building Your High Performance Home: Gulf Region Homeowners Guide is a user-friendly manual available at LaHouse and the LSU AgCenter online. Additional resources can be found on LaHouse’s website and YouTube channel.

LaHouse’s Open House on Saturday, July 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will double as a 10-year anniversary celebration for LaHouse and the community it serves.

David Freese