Summer in Texas can be brutal.
Keeping cool in this kind of heat can get expensive. According to www.eia.gov, Texas households spend an average of $1,800 a year on electricity with a whopping 18% coming from AC costs alone.
Don’t sweat it! Use these 8 tips to help keep your cool and put the chill on those sizzling high AC costs now.
1. Give Your AC Unit a Tune-Up.
Lower your AC bills quickly with an AC tune-up. Chad Sheffield from CAS Air Conditioning & Heating tells us that a poorly maintained AC unit can increase electricity costs by as much as 30%. And don’t forget to clean the AC evaporator coils and check for leaks in AC ducts. Here’s a list of a few of our favorite local HVAC providers.
2. Dirty Filters Are a No-No.
Clogged and dirty filters are a primary cause for AC unit breakdowns, and can increase energy costs by 5%. Althought this is a simple task, many homeowners report forgetting to do it monthly. To save even more money, grab a few multi-packs at your local Home Depot, Lowes or Costco store on your next trip. Then, make a mental note to change the filters at the same time each month—for example when you pay your mortgage or utility bill.
3. Keep Ceiling Fans On.
Another easy and convenient way to save on your AC costs is to turn on your ceiling fans throughout the house. According to energy.gov, a ceiling fan allows you to raise your thermostat by 4˚F with no reduction in comfort. And don’t forget to make sure the fan is turning in the right direction and blowing air straight down. This is usually counter clockwise as you are looking up at the fan.
4. Keep Your Cold Air to Yourself.
Make sure your windows and doors are sealed properly so cold air is not escaping. DIY materials such as weather stripping for doors and caulking for windows are inexpensive and can go a long way to cut your costs. Check with your local utility provider for a free energy audit to help you track down and tackle the culprits.
5. Cover Up.
Close blinds, shades and curtains as much as possible in the summer, especially in the hottest part of the day between 3-6pm.
6. Get Programmed.
We have all heard that keeping your temperature at 78˚while at home saves big on electricity. Additionally, nudging the thermostat up 4˚ to 6˚ while you are away can help you knock 10-15% off your electric bill. Make it easy with programmable thermostats so you can program it and forget it.
Home automation systems can make this task even more convenient. Additionally, there are many on the market today that are inexpensive or DIY.
7. Switch to CFL.
Now this trick will take a little more time to realize your savings, it’s another great way to reduce your costs for years. CFL (Compact Florescent Lighting) not only uses less energy – it creates less heat from the bulbs. Up to 90% of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs is converted to heat rather than light. CFL uses 75% less energy and creates 70-90% less heat.
8. Take it Outside.
Finally, get outside. Using your stove-top or oven can really heat up the house. Now’s the time to brush up on your gilling technique and keep the heat outside by using your outdoor grill. Get a list of our favorite summer grill recipes.
Let us know your favorite tips for staying cool. Connect with us on social media.
The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano and surrounding areas. Judi has been named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine ten times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly. Additionally, Judi has also been named the #1 Individual Agent for Ebby Halliday Frisco.
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