- Have Your AC Unit(s) Serviced
The most important thing you can do in preparation for the summer is to have your AC unit serviced. A licensed and trained professional can tell you how well your unit is performing and whether or not there are any problem areas you should be aware of.
On your end, you should make a conscious effort to switch out your air filters regularly — per the manufacturer’s instructions. This will prolong the life of your units and keep your family breathing better indoors.
- Program Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are absolute must-have items for Houston homeowners who hope to be as energy-efficient as possible. During the summer months, you should set your thermostat around 76-78 degrees when you’re home, and off when you’re away.
By reducing the cooling load in this manner, you can use 1 to 3 percent less energy per degree that the thermostat is set above 72. In other words, leaving your thermostat at 78 degrees can save you anywhere from six to 18 percent in energy consumption.
- Block Out the Sun
We all undoubtedly love sunshine, but we also know how quickly it can heat things up, your home included. During the early and mid-afternoon hours, when the sun is at its hottest, use window treatments to block out direct sunshine. This can keep your home cooler and will protect your AC unit from overworking.
- Use Fans
Your air conditioning needs a break from time to time. Use ceiling fans to circulate air and cool down warm spaces without having to consume excess energy. This is especially valid if you have multiple zones in your house, and certain rooms are only used for a couple hours of the day.
For example, let’s say you have an office in the basement that you tend to use for only two hours in the evenings. Instead of cranking up the AC in the entire basement for a just couple of hours, run the ceiling fans. It’s much more efficient and won’t force you to use more energy than you must.
- Dial Down Your Hot Water
One of the great things about summer showers is you don’t have to use as much hot water. Go ahead and turn down your water heater a few degrees and encourage everyone to take shorter showers.
According to research, water flows at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute from a modern showerhead. For a four-person family, this means if you shorten each daily shower by just one minute, you’ll save roughly 300 gallons of water per month.
- Switch Light Bulbs
Did you know that 18W CFL light bulbs use a whopping 76 percent less energy than 75W incandescent bulbs? When you multiply this out over the course of an entire year, you can save between $8 and $15 per bulb.
That’s a few hundred dollars per year for the average Houston home — one of the simplest things you can do to save money this summer. It’s a great task to delegate to your children.
- Locate Air Leaks
If your home is leaking cool air and letting hot air in, you’re wasting a lot of unnecessary energy. Take time to identify where leaks could be occurring, and seal them off for better efficiency.
The most common places where air leaks occur include dryer vents, outdoor faucets, attic hatches, recessed lighting into the attic, crawl spaces, and chimney flus. However, the number-one location for air leaks to surface is around windows and doors.
To find out if you have a problem, simply run your hand along the edges. Do you feel hot air pouring in? If so, you may need to install some additional weather stripping for better efficiency.
- Unplug Devices
Did you know that idle devices that are plugged into the wall still use energy, even when they’re switched off? This may include your television, computer, video game consoles, and lights. Get some power strips that conveniently allow you to turn off the power to all of your unused devices with the flip of a switch.
- Fill Up the Fridge
Did you know that a full refrigerator/freezer is more energy-efficient than an empty one? The reason is that the more food you have in the fridge, the less it has to work to stay cool.
The items inside naturally regulate the temperature and hold in cool air. As for the freezer, keep bags of ice inside to regulate the temperature. This is much better than having empty space (and comes in handy on hot days).
- Spend Time Outdoors
Simply put, the more time you spend outdoors, the less time you spend inside consuming energy. Get the family out of the house and enjoy the beautiful weather. Yard games beat video games, and food always tastes better when cooked on the grill than it does in the oven.
Contact John Moore Today
At John Moore we take pride in two things: honesty and quality workmanship. If we give you a price, quote, or appointment time — you can guarantee that we’ll live up to our end of the bargain.
In addition, whenever we perform a service, you can rest assured that the job is being performed right … the first time. As we enter spring and prepare for the heat of summer, it’s imperative that you inspect the main systems of your home and look out for any warning signs or issues.
In order to keep your electric bill low, you must make sure things like AC systems, appliances, and lighting solutions are as efficient as possible. For questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!