Everything is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, that can include your electricity bill. The average Texas household uses about 26 percent more electricity than a typical US home. And 2018 is expected to bring both record electricity demand and soaring costs – a tough combination for the budget conscious. But the most prepared homeowners can actually use the summer in Texas to lower their electricity bill throughout the season!
How? Start by preparing your home with these energy saving tips.
How to manage your air conditioner temperature and cool your home properly
In Texas, air conditioning make up about 18 percent of all the energy consumption in your home. If you want to make a dent in your monthly bill, start this smart cooling strategy:
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer – every degree of extra cooling will increase electricity usage by as much as 8 percent.
- Set your thermostat to at least 80 degrees if your home is vacant for more than a few hours.
- Position your ceiling and plug in fans so that they are pointed directly at someone at all times. Fans only work if they are blowing air on someone – they do nothing to cool an empty room.
- Keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible. Limit the amount of time the door is open when you are entering or leaving your house.
- Keep your curtains closed during the day to block the sun’s ability to warm your house.
- Clean your air conditioner by washing the coils and clearing high grass around it.
- Do not use a humidifier unless it’s necessary.
How to use summer heat to actually lower your bill
Now, that you are cooling your home correctly it’s time to harness the power of the heat. Here’s how to do it well.
- Dry your clothes outside on a clothesline. The summer heat will save about $.50 per load, which can really add up over an entire summer.
- Use the grill and avoid the oven. By cooking outside, you avoid heating your home with the heat that escapes from your oven and stove while cooking inside.
- Leave your house as often as possible. Are you looking for air conditioning that won’t cost you anything? Go to the mall. See a summer blockbuster movie and enjoy the action and the free air conditioning. Texas also has some of the country’s best water parks. Pack some sunscreen and set your thermostat to at least 80 degrees (unless you have animals home) and come home when the sun goes down.