Summer is finally here! If you’ve had the chance to experience a Texan summer, you’ll know that even the seasons are bigger in Texas, with big heat waves throughout the summer. But if you’ve been using all that “big big energy” to keep cool, here’s how you can make sure your savings are also bigger this year. Try these simple and inexpensive hacks to prepare your home for a Texas summer, keeping your home cool and your electricity costs low.
Use Window Coverings and Awnings
One of the most effective ways to keep the summer heat out of your home is to keep it shaded. Window awnings can block out a significant amount of sunlight, reducing heat gain from sunlight in your home from 65 – 75%. Window coverings like blinds and curtains, especially those that are reflective, can further prevent up to 40% of heat gain.
Insulate your Home
Insulation is a good investment for all seasons. In the winter, insulation works like a coat, keeping the heat locked inside. In the summer, it does exactly the opposite. Insulation will keep heat from being absorbed into your home, which is one of the reasons that your air conditioner is forced to work harder and for longer.
Get Smart with your Thermostat
Learning thermostat tips and tricks can help you optimize your indoor temperature at all times. Something as small as keeping your thermostat one degree higher than you normally would can make a big difference in how long your air conditioner runs. The effect of keeping your thermostat just one degree higher can save money without having a noticeable effect on how hot you feel in the home. The same logic applies at night time, when slight changes in temperature are barely felt as you sleep. Installing a smart thermostat can even do most of the work for you. A smart thermostat will learn your daily patterns and adjust automatically. Also make sure you turn up the temperature when you’re out and about enjoying your summer, but when you come back home, make sure you don’t turn it too low. This, again, will place a load on your system without cooling down your home any faster.
Use Air Conditioning with Ceiling Fans
Add a little spin on your energy knowledge by combining the effects of air conditioning with a ceiling fan. While a fan does not actually cool air down, it does work effectively to circulate air that has already been cooled, which can make you feel even cooler… some say even 4 degrees cooler! If your AC has already been running optimally, consider turning it up a degree or two and turning on your ceiling fan instead.
Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Incandescent light bulbs use a lot of energy because they produce heat in the process of producing light. This heat is, indeed, felt in the home. Every little bit adds up! So instead of incandescent bulbs, switch to more energy efficient LED lighting. You’ll feel a lot cooler when you save up to $75 per year by doing so.
Mind the Gap
Sometimes, we may be doing everything right, but somehow the cool air still makes a getaway. This may be because it’s literally seeping out of your home through gaps or cracks. It’s worthwhile doing an audit of your home to check for any gaps where air can escape, such as around windows, floors, and foundation.
If you want to learn how to optimize your energy consumption while saving money for the summer ahead, talk to an Arrow Energy consultant today.