Texas does everything big, and that includes the summer heat. Air conditioning bills can soar during the long, hot summers the Lone Star state experiences. But there are still plenty of ways to save money on summer cooling bills without breaking a sweat. With a bit of practice, you can keep your family comfortable and your energy bill manageable.
The traditional advice about setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer is still good advice. But don’t stop there. If your house is going to set empty for over four hours, bump up the thermostat to 80 degrees. Speaking of thermostats, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. For an initial modest investment of money and time spent setting it up, you can save up to 20 percent on your energy bill.
If you are comfortable with setting the temperature at higher than 78 degrees when you’re home during the summer, you will even reap bigger savings. Every degree of cooling increases your energy usage by several percentage points, which in turn increases your bill.
Hiring an air conditioning contractor for routine maintenance of your air conditioning system is crucial to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible during the summer months. Have an HVAC maintenance company give your air conditioning system a tune-up in the spring before you turn on the air conditioning. Don’t forget to change the air filters at least once every three months—more often if you have pets. This will keep the air flowing at maximum capacity for efficient cooling. If your air conditioner is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model. The new models can save you up to 40% on your energy bill.
In the House
There are plenty of simple tips you can implement at home to save energy during the summer. Turn on those ceiling fans, as they can make a room feel several degrees cooler and fans are much cheaper than running the air conditioner. Keep your windows covered by blinds or curtains to keep out the scorching sun. To maximize your savings, install energy-efficient windows. Try to limit your trips in and out of the house, as the constant change of temperature can force your air conditioner to work harder.
Shade is Mother Nature’s way of helping you make your home energy efficient. The more trees and foliage you have around your home, the more money you save because your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard. In Texas, shade and water are precious resources, so talk to your local nursery about your landscaping options.
There are many ways you can make your home more energy efficient during those brutal Texas summers. Air conditioning is an absolute necessity in Texas during the summer, but you can make sure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible by keeping it properly maintained. Making simple changes around the house can help keep the oppressive heat at bay. Trees are a homeowner’s best friend when it comes to offering naturally cooling shade. By implementing even a few of these steps, you can make your energy bill more budget-friendly during those long, hot Texas summers.
About the author: Natasha Risinger has a background in the energy industry. She blogs on the subject for a variety of consumer sites. Click to find out that Direct Energy has Fort Worth rates