Summer will be here soon and with it comes triple-digit temperatures. The high heat of this season can have a big impact on your energy consumption.
Keep your energy use low even as the temperature soars by following these simple tips:
1. Clean your air conditioner
Heating and cooling are the biggest sources of energy use in the average home, accounting for as much as 48 percent of your utility bill. Since air conditioners are essential during a Texas summer, it's important to keep the AC running efficiently. Replacing a dirty or clogged filter can lower your AC's energy use by 10-15 percent. Cleaning the unit's coils, coil fins, and condensate drains every few months will also improve its performance.
2. Shine a light
You might not know all the small things in your home that are raising its temperature. One common culprit: incandescent light bulbs. These light bulbs only use 10-15 percent of their electricity for visible light. The rest is emitted as heat that is making your room warmer.
Switch off lights when you don't need them or swap out your incandescent bulbs for cooler LEDs.
3. Eat a chilled meal
To cool off in the kitchen, try serving salads, spring rolls or chilled soups that don't require heat. In addition to being refreshing, many of these foods are prepared using small appliances like blenders or no appliances at all. Ovens and stove tops add heat to your kitchen.
4. Use the summer breeze
Clothes dryers use more energy than dishwashers and washing machines combined, and add heat to your home. Take advantage of the warm summer sun and a strong breeze to dry your clothes outside on a clothes line.
5. Move the air around
Help your air conditioner cool the house by circulating the chilled air. Running ceiling fans in addition to your AC will move the air around evenly. You can also deploy spot ventilation in rooms that tend to be warmer, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
6. Cover your windows
Window blinds are particularly effective for preventing summer heat gain by blocking out the sun. If blinds are completely closed and lowered during the day, they will reduce heat gain by as much as 45 percent. If you want to let some light in, use the slats in your venetian blinds to direct the light toward the ceiling. This will diffuse the heat from the sunlight while still brightening the room.
7. Don't forget your attic
It may seem counterintuitive but you actually do want to let outside air creep in and out of your attic. As the sun beats down on your home, your attic is often the warmest inside area. But a well-ventilated attic will keep that super-hot air from becoming trapped, which can lead to moisture problems that cause mold buildup or damage to your roof. Be sure to keep the attic's soffit vents clear, and on the hottest days, consider running a fan in your attic.
Visit Gexa Energy for more energy-saving tips you can use this summer.