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Beat the Heat; Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Save on Energy Costs
July 26, 2018
Simple and inexpensive actions can help you save energy and money during the West Central Texas summer months.
Here you'll find strategies to help you save energy and money during the summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the West Texas summer.
Heating and Cooling Tips
Nearly half of you energy use goes to heating and cooling your home. That’s a lot. You can cut back on usage by insulating and air sealing your home, being mindful of your thermostat settings and more.
- Change your air filters regularly
Change your air filters at least once every three months and more often during the winter and summer.
- Use fans when you’re in the room
Ceiling fans use considerably less energy than your air conditioner. They are great at cooling and circulating air within your home. Box fans can also help you keep cool during the summer. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect. Click here for fan resources in West Central Texas.
When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
- Set your thermostat for savings
Set your thermostat at 78 in the summer months and you will spend 18% less on cooling costs than you would if you kept it at 72. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Don’t heat your home with appliances or lighting
On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing. Take short showers instead of baths.
Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.
- Keep hot air from leaking into your home
Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Weatherization resources in West Central Texas can be found here.
- Lower your water heating costs
Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Source: energystar.gov. For more useful tips, visit the energystar.gov website.
Content provided by: Joshua Prim
Content editor: Mary Cooksey,
2-1-1 Texas A Call for Help