Keep Your Home Cool and Costs Down
Dreading that next summer electric bill? Keeping your home cool during the hot Texas summer is an expensive task. There are ways to keep temperatures down without putting all the strain on your AC. Here are some tips from our home energy inspectors that will provide relief from high heat and high bills.
1. Use appliances after dark.
Washers, dryers, dishwashers and ovens generate heat and make your AC work harder. Why not do all your cooking on the grill? Keep the heat outside.
2. Seal your windows and doors.
Over time, windows and doors begin leaking air. You may think your home is closed up tight, but cool air is leaking out, and hot air is seeping in.
3. Set your fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
This creates a wind-chill effect, and you can raise that thermostat substantially. The standard human comfort range in the summer is between 72 F and 78 F. Standard ceiling fans use less energy and can lower the temperature in a room as much as 7 degrees.
4. Keep the sun out.
Sun shining through your windows can generate a lot of heat inside your home. A long term solution is to install thermal windows which are insulated against heat absorption. Another option is to cover windows with white or reflective coverings. Dark or black curtains or shades may block the light, but they absorb the heat. You can also plant trees or install awnings to create shade.
5. Use your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.
Exhaust fans pull the hot air from cooking or taking a steamy shower out of your home.
6. Ditch the incandescent lights. If you haven't already, switch to CFL or LED lights. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so switching to more efficient bulbs will make a difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.
7. Keep AC components clean.
Most people change their air filters regularly, but forget to keep the other parts clean as well. Dirty, clogged vents inside the home and AC units outside the home keep your system from running efficiently. Normal dust buildup reduces air flow by 1% each week.