Here in the great state of Texas, we are exposed to some crazy weather. We’ll often see shorts-to-coats weather, extreme short-term temperature changes, A/C & Heater days….or just simply defined as “Texas weather.” Yee-haw!   Yep, we’re pretty used to it, but it can still be frustrating to find a comfortable climate inside our homes. Quick temperature turnarounds in Texas are predictably unpredictable.  Although there’s nothing we can do about manipulating the weather, there are things we can do in our homes to find some balance.

  • Hands off!

When you shut your A/C completely off, it takes much more work for it to completely cool an entire house again once turned back on. Don’t turn your thermostat off.  Instead, look at the 10-day forecast.  Find a comfortable temperature during the mildest points in the 10-day and set your thermostat.  Then, don’t touch it!  You’ll use way more energy (and end up paying a lot more on your bill) by constantly adjusting it. Set it to a temperature you can deal with for a 10-day period and leave it alone.

Don’t worry – you won’t sweat during the days and freeze during the nights!  There are ways to ensure your comfort with minimal electricity usage once your thermostat is set!

  • Switch the fans

Did you know your ceiling fans can spin in two directions!?  They sure can, and are supposed to do this! During the summer, it spins counter-clockwise to pull hot air upward. During the winter, we want it rotating clockwise and on a low setting to push the warm air down and trap it in the room. Knowing this, you can adjust the ceiling fan to help your comfort level during crazy spikes in temperatures.  It uses minimal energy, and you avoid touching that thermostat!

  • Light ’em up!

Yes, it’s a bit medieval, but candles really do offer extra warmth to a room.  When the temperature drops suddenly, get your lumberjack on and start a fire in the fireplace. Light multiple candles throughout the rooms you frequent.  When you aren’t in those rooms, close the doors.  You’ll find they actually add a great amount of warmth without using more electricity!

  • Let it in

We’ll often see periods where mornings are hitting near freezing temps, and the sun heats up to a comfortable 75 degrees by mid-afternoon.  Once the sun sets, that chill returns.  Instead of adjusting your thermostat, allow that blazing orange ball in the sky to offer some heat! Open your blinds and drapes, and crack your windows when it’s warmest.  Allow that heat inside, and just before sunset – close it up again.

  • Mobile units

Instead of blasting the heater for a few hours in the morning, or blowing the A/C for that one day during the week that it will be warm, go mobile.  Cooling fans and space heaters are a great option for temporary relief from fluctuating temperatures. Remember to limit the space you use in your house and keep the units in the most used rooms. You’ll want to benefit from each, as much as possible. Close the doors to areas where you aren’t spending time, to keep the heat or cool right where you want it.

If you insist on using your A/C and heater in a single day, remember these tips: 
– Wait a full five minutes between turning one system off and starting the other. If you switch from heat to air conditioning too quickly, you can fry your circuit board or blow a fuse.
– Gradually reach the temperature you want. If you want to cool off a bit, move the temperature a few degrees every 30 minutes until you reach your desired temperature.

Use these tips to avoid discomfort during typical Texas winters. Texas can’t make up its mind this time of year, which means we just have to roll with the punches. And don’t forget – you can sign up for Energy Ogre to really save some serious money during the ups and downs of Texas winters!