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Old 03-14-2012, 01:25 PM
 
27 posts, read 106,878 times
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Hello everyone!

I just moved up to the Lubbock area to finish my ME degree at TTU in January. I made a quick decision to move up here and consequently, only looked at a few places before settling on this one. Right now, I'm renting a decent two-bedroom house in the South Overton area for $700 per month. With my other bills, including gas, internet, and power/trash/sewer, I'm right at about $950 per month, which is relatively comfortable for me.

On to the questions:

First, what can I do to improve the insulation in this house for the upcoming summer? I hear that Lubbock has some wickedly hot summers and it's beginning to show. I come from Houston so I'm pretty familiar; I definitely won't miss the humidity though. I was fine in the winter months as I would normally just bundle up inside so that I didn't run up my gas bill. However, with the heat, there's only so much you can take off to stay cool so I need to find a way to keep the AC trapped inside.

I've read a few posts on window sealing kits and weather stripping for the doors. Those sound like great ideas and I'm going to do them soon. The weather stripping on the back door is so bad I can actually see outside underneath the door. I was also thinking about getting a portable AC unit since I'm the only one living in this house. I really only need to keep the front room cooled during the day and my bedroom cooled in the evening. It would be a waste to cool the whole house when I don't even use the second bedroom.

Secondly, I think I want to move away from South Overton once my lease is up. It's not too bad but it's kind of run down and I've seen a lot of unsavory individuals roaming the streets by my house. It makes me a little uncomfortable. Could you guys recommend any nice areas in Lubbock? I don't really want to live close to campus or other students anymore. I'm 26 and I value my privacy and quiet much more than being in the midst of all the party-time commotion. What do you guys think? I've read that the southwest and northwest are nice areas.

Thank for reading.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 44,012,256 times
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Sealing leaks is important. Adding insulation to the attic is the best thing to do if the leaks are taken care of, but I wouldn't expect a renter to invest that kind of money in a place.

One thing you could do relatively cheaply is to inspect the HVAC system ducts and registers and seal any leaks found in them and the return air plenum to the HVAC equipment. You can buy a roll or two of duct tape and mastic and seal up any gaps you find.

Quote:
//www.city-data.com/blogs/blog3...ac-system.html
Typical duct leakage is 25% in an older home. That is 25% of your energy and dollars being lost to duct leaks.
Cover any East and West facing or unshaded South facing windows that you don't need to look out of, or if you want the light, make an inexpensive insulated window out of it by wrapping clear plastic over the window screen and popping it back into place. or make an inexpensive 1x2 wood frame to tightly fit the inside of the window opening and wrap it with clear plastic.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:44 PM
 
27 posts, read 106,878 times
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Thanks a lot for your reply. I'll look into all of those suggestions within the next few days. It sounds like a lot of work but if it will save me a few bucks a month on cooling, I'm all for it.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:00 PM
 
13,552 posts, read 8,028,183 times
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One nice thing about summer in Lubbock is that it does cool off at night. A few years ago, the area south of 19th & west of University was nice. I can't remember exactly but 22nd/ish between Boston & Flint comes to mind. I had a kid that lived in that area while doing graduate work, it was very safe.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,943 posts, read 7,240,229 times
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My home in Lubbock had the air conditioner go out in the hottest part of July last summer. By being vigilant about covering the windows in the day and opening them at night, we were able to keep a four-bedroom house around 85. Not comfortable by any means, but bearable for a few days. The insulation was certainly better than what you describe.

That said, most of the smaller and affordable apartment complexes and duplexes are likely to have some sort of student presence, but it would be much less in the southern and southwestern parts of town. The northwest part of town has quite a few students, particularly in the Lynnwood townhomes area. The only places that tend to get rowdy are the Overton areas and Tech Terrace.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:14 AM
 
2,119 posts, read 3,381,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
One nice thing about summer in Lubbock is that it does cool off at night. A few years ago, the area south of 19th & west of University was nice. I can't remember exactly but 22nd/ish between Boston & Flint comes to mind. I had a kid that lived in that area while doing graduate work, it was very safe.
That's Tech Terrace, which can be very expensive, especially that close to 19th Street.

IF Lubbock can get close to normal amounts of rain this spring (big if), the summer SHOULD be more tolerable than it was last year, when the dry soil led to a "frying pan effect" that resulted in many hotter-than-normal days. (92 is the highest normal temp in the hottest part of the year.)
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Texas
714 posts, read 1,237,502 times
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If you go looking at apartments, beware of West facing ones. Same with houses too. Lived in a couple of apts, and my first house in Lubbock faced West. Granted, all of them were on the (then) brand new building areas off Frankford and Spur 327, so not much shade...

Did make for very uncomfy living though, and lessons learned for the rest of the places I have lived.

As for specific parts of town, I will defer to the folks who actually still live there.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:42 PM
 
2,119 posts, read 3,381,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoe01 View Post
(92 is the highest normal temp in the hottest part of the year.)
Turns out I was one degree off--it's 93 from the last day of June to Aug. 4:

NWS Lubbock, TX - Local Climate Data
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