Summer has definitely arrived here in Austin, Texas and residents are starting to feel the growing temperatures. As the thermometer levels continue to rise, you’ll probably notice that your energy bills are also steadily growing. To help fight against the annual bump in utility costs, here are seven simple tips for Austin homeowners to cut back on energy usage while staying cool.
1. Take good care of your home by plugging the leaks and cracks around doors and windows. Applying a weather strip beneath your door and touching up or replacing the caulk around windows keeps cool air in and hot air out. This is an inexpensive fix that will make a huge difference in saving energy.
2. Covering up East and West-facing windows with blinds or curtains helps block out the sun and keep your home cool. Consider investing in solar screens or solar film to replace ordinary window screens. Use fans to circulate air and keep rooms cooler.
3. Changing the filter in your AC not only saves you five dollars a month in energy costs, but also keeps your air free of dirt and allergens. Investing in an electrostatic air filter, which is washable and long-lasting, will also save money. Replacing the filter each month will keep the air in your home clean and help keep your AC in good condition.
4. Installing a programmable thermostat can save you as much as 30 percent on cooling costs. There are many models available that are suitable for any budget, so do some research to find one compatible with your HVAC system. This one-time investment will go a long way in conserving energy.
5. Replacing ordinary light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs can also reduce energy costs. Energy-efficient bulbs use 75 percent less energy, produce less heat and last much longer than ordinary bulbs. Look for brands that are EnergyStar- qualified for the best value. Keep lights turned off in unoccupied rooms to save even more energy.
6. Devices like DVD players, computers and cell phone chargers all run on “phantom power” when they are not in use. A little goes a long way when it comes to saving energy. Unplugging your chargers and completely shutting down your computer are little things you can do to conserve energy in your home.
7. Spending time out of the house allows you to enjoy events around town while keeping your HVAC from working overtime during the day. Need ideas for things to do out of the house? Check out our list of Things to do in June in Austin.
These small changes will have a lasting effect on the energy-efficiency of your home. Be sure to try these tips to help keep cooling costs down while temperatures are going up.