Summer heat in Texas can be brutal, but your electricity bill doesn’t have to make you sweat! Energy efficiency is necessary for your home so you can enjoy running your A/C unit, without paying ridiculously high electricity bills.  Use these simple tips to lower your electric bill. Save a nice chunk o’ change on your electric bill, with very little effort.  

Thermostat Dial

Your electricity bill will take a heavy hit if you aren’t using your A/C correctly. Keeping your thermostat at a constant temperature may seem like a great idea, but raising and lowering the temperatures can actually save you a ton of money.  If you aren’t home during the day, turn it up.  If you sleep better when it’s cooler, turn it down.  Adjusting the temperature to fit your schedule will ensure you’re getting the most out of your unit, enjoying the cool air when you need it most, and will ultimately lower your electricity bill.  

Keep it On

Do not turn your A/C unit off when you leave your home –  this common misconception will have you waiting for cooler air for a longer period of time, and it will most definitely keep your electricity bill high.  When you turn your A/C unit off for a period of time, the energy it has to use to cool the entire area again is much more than it would use to maintain a certain temperature range.  Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will fluctuate the temperature in your home automatically.

Fans

Although fans don’t cool the air around them, they do circulate air.  This breeze can make a room feel cooler.  When fans are running, turn your thermostat up.  Not only are they already using energy by being plugged in, you won’t need the A/C unit to run as cool with fans blowing the existing cooler air around the room. Place fans on opposite sides of a room to create a tunnel effect that will distribute the air better.

Change Filters

When your air filters are clogged, the cool air from your air conditioner has to use more energy to push through into your home.  Changing your filters regularly will help your unit run more efficiently, giving you more cool air, and lowering the cost of your electricity bill.  Switch out your filters monthly to avoid clogging.

lower electric bills

Power Strips

Check your small appliances.  If they have transformers on them (that’s the little black cube at the end of the cord), you’ll want to avoid plugging those into your wall sockets. Even when you turn your devices and appliances off, the power may still be on if it’s plugged into the wall.  This uses unnecessary energy, causing your electricity bill to rise. Unplug them when they aren’t in use, or grab a power strip for all of them.  When you’re ready to shut them down, just turn off the power strip.

Replace Appliances

If you’ve owned your major appliance or air conditioner for more than 10 years, it’s time to replace them.  The older they get, the more energy they require to run properly. Purchase new appliances with Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) of 10, and you could be cutting the cost of running them by up to 50%.

Deep Freeze

Deep freezers are a great resource for large families.  Buying groceries in bulk will help you save a lot of money.  If you have a large freezer unit, be sure you keep it in the basement or cool garage facing away from the sun.  It’s far cooler in there so it won’t have to work as hard or use as much energy to keep it cool.  You’ll also want to keep it full. The more frozen items in the freezer, the better.  Those items will keep each other cooler, letting the unit take a break from having to cool constantly. The same concept works for your refrigerator, as well.

Clean your fridge

The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy-sucking appliances in your home.  Keeping the vents and fan clean and maintained. When those are clean, the energy it uses to cool the contents is far less.

Laundry & Dishes

Running your washer, dryer, and dishwasher can put out extra heat in your house. This causes your A/C to work harder to compensate.  Consider running the dishwasher and washing machines during the off-peak hours which are generally 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Wash your dishes by hand, or consider using paper plates and plastic utensils for the hotter months.  You may also want to purchase rinsing agents (like Jet Dry) that will take the place of the heated dry mode on your dishwasher.  Wash all laundry with cold water, if possible, and be sure the load is full if you are using hot water.  When packing wet laundry into your dryer, make sure there is room enough for the hot air to circulate.  Putting too many items in the dryer will likely take longer to get the items dry, causing more energy usage, and expelling more heat into your home.

Monitor sunlight

Keep your drapes closed during the day to keep the heat from coming into your home. Window film is a great alternative for letting the light in, but keeping the heat out, and can reduce the heat coming in through your windows by up to 30%.  If you have windows facing the sun during the day, potted trees or large shrubs can also help block out the sun.  

Insulate the water heater

Add some insulation around your water heater.  This helps keep the heat where it should be and allows for a lot less warm air to circulate through your home.

Close the chimney

If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home, make sure the flue is closed during the summer.  It’s something you may not have considered, but you’ll notice a difference in your home when hot air doesn’t have easy access to get in.

energy efficient

Change the bulbs

Grab some energy efficient light bulbs, and you’ll notice a quick change in your electricity bill.  They require fewer watts and they end up lasting a lot longer than the classic light bulb. Plus, they are generally cooler and put off less heat, as well.

Check for gaps

If there are gaps around the doors and windows of your home, you’re unintentionally letting warm air inside.  Check your weatherstripping and make sure it’s not worn out and is properly in place.  When you find gaps where air can get in, use caulk to seal it off.

Try using these tips to keep your home more energy efficient, and your electricity bill lower during the hotter months.  You won’t be sacrificing your comfort or wallet by changing up a few of your normal routines.