Texas summers are not meant for the weak! If this summer will be anything like the summer of 2011 it is even more important that certain precautions are taken to maintain our homes cool while saving on our electric bills (sounds like an oxymoron, I know), both of these are possible at the same time.
Check List for a Cool Summer Without Running Up the Electric Bill
- A/C – Run It Steady!
- Weatherproofing your home
- Green Lighting
- Cold Wash Clothes
- Off Your Electronics
A/C – Run It Steady!
- Hot weather outside always makes me feel like I cannot get my house cool enough. Heating and cooling accounts for 50% of a typical household’s energy costs.
The habit that runs up the bill so high is moving the thermostat settings in our homes between two extremes. Many believe that turning off the A/C when your family is not home is the best way to save, but instead the temperature in your home is allowed to rise to uncomfortable temperatures. This often means that when the family gets home the thermostat is turned on but set at an even lower temperature because it’s “just too hot” in the home. This is a bad habit that can be resolved easily!
“What to do”
The best practice for managing your thermostat in the summer months is to keep it on, but set the temperature at a reasonable 73-72 degrees (which ever is most comfortable for your family) and let it sit at this setting. If you own a programable thermostat you could set the temperature to fluctuate between 2-3 degrees still maintaining your home at a reasonable temperature while you are away and having it be ready when you get home.
So Why does this work?
When an A/C is set to cool a room down 80+ degrees to 73 or 72 degrees it ends up working for long periods of time (possibly hours depending on your A/C unit) to reach the goal temperature meanwhile sucking up energy. By setting your thermostat at a comfortable temperature and letting it “cruise” the A/C will be turning on periodically through out the day, however only to cool a home a few degrees here and there. The less the A/C has to work, the more you save.
Weatherproofing Your Home
- Bad Caulking! Torn Weatherstripping! And Gaps! Oh No!
Weatherproofing your home is not always an easy task. Poor weatherproofing around your home is often a source of discomfort in the home as well as high heating and cooling bills.
There are two main steps to weatherproofing a home.
- Weatherstripping doors by sealing the gaps around the doors.
- Weatherproofing windows and gaps in permanent building materials with caulking.
These two steps sound simple the key is in getting it done right and choosing the right materials for the weather.
When you are looking for these materials, it could be handy to consult your local home improvement store professional or contact your local handyman.Cedar Park Handyman can be the right call to make to save on your electric bills by weatherproofing your home and getting ready for the summer the right way.
- Energy Efficient Light Bulbs! Yes they cost more out of pocket at the register, but they have been proven to use less electricity, last longer which saves you money on the long run. Most bulbs pay for themselves with in the first year of being in use. They now come in varying shades of light to accomodate any room too. Make the switch this summer if you have not done so already. The few extra bucks it knocks off your monthly bills can make a big difference during the hot summer months. The overal benefits of LED lightbulbs are:
- Long-Lasting Bulbs
- More efficient
- Light for remote areas and portable generators
Make the switch this summer as a part of your spring cleaning routine and you can check that off your money saving checklist.
Cold Wash Clothes
- Contrary to common belief, clothes washed in cold water ALSO GET CLEAN! That’s right! Washing your clothes in hot or warm water does not mean your clothes will get cleaner.
This summer try washing your clothes in cold water and help save some of the money spent on heating the water for your clothes.
Hot water is not completely with out benefit, there is the load or two that will need more of a sanitizing wash. In these cases hot water will definitely be needed.
What about cold water detergents and their cost? If you have dirtier clothes than the average american (say teenage kids or sports clothes) consider using cold wash detergents. These detergents are slightly more expensive than regular detergents, however the amount of money you save by using cold water is greater!
Off Your Electronics
- Yes, we’ve heard it before. Unused electronics must be turned off. Did you know that your appliances continue to use up energy when they are standby. This includes kitchen mixers, toasters, blenders. In the bathroom disconnecting hair driers, and straighteners will make a big difference.
Shutting off any appliance not in use can shave numbers off your electric bill with out a doubt.
Let’s get cool!
In preparation for this spring and summer, take some time to apply some of these best practices to help you stay cool in the summer with out running up your electricity bill.
Remember, maintaining a steady temperature in your home will make the biggest difference so set your thermostats accordingly, let them cruise and weatherproof your home to keep the cool air in!