August brings some of the hottest temperatures of the year to Central Texas, which means your air conditioner is likely working in overdrive. As you try to beat the heat this summer, remember these tips to help keep your bills cool.
Test your HVAC
Cooling your house can account for as much as half of your home’s energy use. Test your HVAC unit in three easy steps to ensure it’s operating efficiently. You don’t need to be expert; it’s easy and affordable to do it yourself. Learn how.
Turn your thermostat up 4 degrees and turn on a fan
If you’re home, raise your thermostat to 78 degrees and use fans to keep you cool. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), raising your thermostat by 4 degrees will not affect your comfort level, as long as you’re using a fan. And bumping up your thermostat even 2 degrees can lower your air conditioning costs by as much as 14%. Just remember, fans cool people, not spaces, so turn them off before leaving the room.
Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat can save you up to 10% on your energy bills. Most modern thermostats are programmable, allowing you to manually schedule temperatures for specific days and times. But Wi-Fi connected smart thermostats take money saving features even further by learning your habits, adjusting the temperature automatically, and optimizing use for current weather conditions.
Reduce heat gain
About 75% of sunlight that comes through a standard, double-pane window turns into heat, according to the DOE. Cover windows with blinds or curtains and keep them drawn. This will help limit heat gain, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Hang curtains close to the window, and choose a medium color drapery with a white, plastic backing to reduce heat by up to 33 percent.
Finally, step outside of your home for additional savings
- Visit your local library
- Camp out in the Texas Hill Country under the beautiful stars
- Host a summer patio party or pool party
Learn more energy-saving tips.