Texas summer isn’t even officially started yet and we’ve already seen temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in DFW!
With the hot weather comes higher electric bills. There’s nothing worse than opening up your electricity bill and seeing a massive number staring back at you. You want to save money on your home cooling and heating bills, but you also don’t want to live in the dark — or the unbearable summer heat!
Before you pull your hair out, though, here are a few quick and easy ways to reduce your home’s energy use in ways that you can take to the bank.
Keeping it Cool on the Cheap
Let’s tackle these hot months. The first choice for many people is a window-mounted air-conditioning unit, but let’s be honest: those things are big energy hogs. Installing ceiling fans can help control costs, as even a fan left on constantly will consume just a fraction of what an AC unit will. Fans can help decrease the temperature by an average of 10 degrees without using a lot of energy – and in hot Texas summers, every degree helps!
Central air conditioning units are what most homeowners choose in Texas. You can help keep energy costs down by keeping your unit in good working order. Clean its filter regularly so the unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your air. Also make sure that your windows and doors have good, tight seals, and that your home is properly insulated.
Most homeowners think of home inspections only when they’re buying or selling a house – but did you know we can perform an annual home maintenance inspection? This can be another way to cut down on your utility bills by making sure all systems are in good working order.
You can also replace your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent or LED ones to further reduce the impact on your electricity bill. This replacement can also help keep your home cooler. Fluorescent and LED lights run coolers than their incandescent counterparts. With a regular incandescent bulb, electricity is converted to heat on the tiny tungsten wire inside. The wire in a 75 watt bulb heats up to around 4600 degrees Farenheit! 90% of the energy in these bulbs produces heat, while only 10% produces light.
Fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, are designed to produce light without much heat – 40% of the electricity used produces light.
LED lights are even cooler. Tests show 100W incandescent lights burning at 335.4 degrees (on the surface, not the wire); fluorescent lights burning at 179.2 degrees, and LED bulbs burning at 87.2 degrees – meaning that more of the energy being used by LED light bulbs are producing light instead of heat. That helps keep your electricity bill lower, and also puts less heat in your home.
Warming Things Up Without Burning Cash
You’re thinking of the heat now, and you will also want to be preparing for needing heat later. Once winter rolls around, your energy use is going to swing in the opposite direction. Keeping warm is all about making sure your house is sealed up tight to reduce air leakage, especially through second stories or roofs.
Ensuring your home has well-insulated windows and doors is another important facet of not wasting energy in the winter. Weather stripping should be new and fresh, and you should draw your blinds at night to reduce heat loss. Additionally, turn down your thermostat slightly at bedtime or when you’re away — or better yet, get a programmable thermostat that does it for you!
Thinking of a Dip in the Pool?
If your home has a swimming pool or spa, making sure it’s in good working order will also help you save on both electricity and water costs. You can have your pool professionally inspected by adding this critical inspection to your order.
We can inspect swimming pools and spas for physical and mechanical operation and safety. We will inspect the pool surface, skimmers, decking, and coping as well as the equipment (pumps, filters, heaters, blowers, etc.) for operation and any above ground plumbing leaks. The pool lights and GFCI safety outlets will be tested as well as check for other safety features like gates and fences.
But Wait, There’s More!
There are dozens of ways to cut down on your energy bills if you’re a homeowner — these are just the most common.
Schedule your annual maintenance inspection or contact your contractor to update your insulation, weather stripping, and other repairs.