As the summer approaches, many Texas residents are not only anxious about the heat but also the electricity bill they will get. If you are one of people, we have compiled top five ways to keep cool this summer while keeping electricity costs down.
Promgram Your Thermostat
Your thermostat is a good place to start trying to save in the coming summer months. Texas summers are known to be hot and you may have to use the air conditioning from time to time. However, you can make sure you are using the AC more efficiently. First, set the AC to 78 degrees as it is generally accepted as the balance between being comfortable and limiting electricity bills.
You can take that further by using a programmable thermostat that helps you cut down power usage by regulating when the AC should kick in. That way, you can keep your power usage low when you are at work or out and about but return to a cool apartment. You can see up to 10% reduction in your bill by turning up your thermostat by 10 degrees when you are at work.
Use Fans & Turn Off When Not in Use
Fans may be old tech and not as great as air conditioning but they work by circulating air without using as much power. Use more of fans than ACs, especially in rooms where you don’t spend much time. Even if you can’t go all the way to install a fan in every room in your home, consider simple oscillating fans that can be easily plugged in.
It is however important to remember to turn off the fans when not needed. The average fan costs about $0.005 per hour to run. If you leave ten fans running 24 hours of the day, that is about $36 tacked on to your bill at the end of the month. So make sure to turn off those fans when you are not in the room. They do little good when you are not around and costs money to run.
Reduce the Load on Your AC
The more heat that is trapped in your home, the more work your AC does to keep you cool and the more energy used. One method to lessen the load on your AC is to minimize your use of electronics. Apart from the fact that they consume power on their own, they also produce heat, which has to be ejected by your AC. You should also try to block outlets that cool air can escape from by sealing up your apartment and using insulation.
Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Your central air system will do more work during the summer months. To make sure it does so efficiently, it needs to be well maintained. A simple freeing up of a clogged air filter can improve your air conditioning efficiency by up to 15%. The money you spend on the servicing will be well worth it during the summer months.
This is especially important in an electricity market that is deregulated like Texas. It means you can shop around for the best plans, based on your power usage habits. Before deciding on any plan, compare it with what you pay now and see how much you can save. You could be surprised to discover you could save up to $50 a month, especially during the summer months!
Also, make sure your contract is not expiring as you would be automatically placed on the default plan, which may see you paying more as the utility company determines how much you pay monthly.
The best place to hunt for the best plan for you in Texas is on https://electricitymatch.com. The website is easy to use as you only have to type in your zip code and you will see all the electricity plans available in your area. You can use the comparison tool to see how much each plan helps you to save.