In my experience, the milder the Winter here in Texas, the hotter the Summer. So before North Texas starts to see any record breaking heat waves this Summer, prepare your home and your family with these energy saving tips that will save you big money during 100 degree dog days of summer headed our way:
1. Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use 75% less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year!
2. Thermostats – If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat with its four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs. Proper use means setting the thermostat at energy-saving temperatures without overriding that setting. You should also set the “hold” button at a constant energy-saving temperature when you’re away or on vacation. You can save about 2% on your electric bill by increasing your temperature setting just 1 degree.
3. Water Heaters – Turning down your water heater temperature to 120 degrees from 140 saves you about $7 month. I personally turn mine down to 100 degrees in the summer simply because it’s already so hot out, I prefer a cooler shower just for a little relief from the Texas temps.
4. Pools – Adjust your pump timer during the summer to only run about 6 hours, as opposed to the standard 10 hours.
5. Air Filters – Change or replace your HVAC air filters regularly. I’ve set an alarm on my email to remind me every 6 weeks to switch them out. I’m not sure how much this saves in the long run, but I know my HVAC system has needed less repairs since I’ve started being more diligent about my filters. I also recommend the HEPA filters.
6. A/C Units – Get them serviced now before the heat wave creeps up on North Texas. It’s cheaper to prevent an issue or breakage than it is to repair.
7. Laundry – Start washing in cold water only. 85-90% of energy used for washing machines is used to heat the water. Wash only full loads.
8. Solar Screens – Invest in Solar Screens that block up to 90% of the sun’s heat and reduces room temperatures up to 15 degrees with a savings of 25-30% of the cooling portion of electric energy costs.
That about sums up how I reduce my energy bill during the summer here in Texas. I also use Ambit Energy. After being a loyal customer of TXU for many years, I saw that average billing was increasing year over year and decided to try something else. I’ve seen a big reduction in my electric costs and I suggest you shop around and find an energy provider that offers you the best rates. If you’re interested in making the switch, use this link: http://www.A2253015.joinambit.com (because it helps reduce my bill, too!)
For more home maintenance tips, or for local McKinney real estate news, check out my facebook at www.facebook.com/McKinneyRE or view local homes on the market at www.McKinneyHomeFinder.com.