It’s that time of year again. August 1st. Now that the summer is rapidly drawing to a close, chances are you are asking yourself, “When will the heat end?” After all, the kids are going back to school soon and football season is right around the corner. But as we all know, the Texas heat most likely won’t let up until mid October at the earliest. So with temperatures flirting with the triple digits over the last few weeks and no end in sight, it looks like most of us will be escaping the heat and heading to Lake Austin or staying indoors. But to make sure you don’t run up those air conditioning costs this August, we have some practical, green tips for how you can keep cool and keep your bills low.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat and use it. For some of us, we already have these. Others have yet to take the plunge. But no matter which boat you are in, it’s time to put these to work for you. For example, if you’re going to be at the office all day, then set your thermostat accordingly. There’s no sense in cooling your house to 72 if no one is there to enjoy it. It’s best to keep the house around 77 while you’re out and then program it to begin cooling off when you leave the office. Not only will this keep your house from cooling unnecessarily over long periods of time but it will also keep it from cooling during some of the hottest times of the day.
- Buy solar. Every day we are getting plenty of Texas sunshine, so why not put it to good use? Solar panels can provide electricity to fans that cool the attic, power security lights and even heat your pool during the cooler seasons.
- Get out the caulk and weather stripping. Sure it’s not as glamorous as investing in solar energy or a hybrid car, but you’d be surprised at the difference a properly sealed home makes. Just think, every time your HVAC unit tries to keep your house cool it has to work much harder because all of the cooler air that is escaping through the cracks. All it takes is a quick trip to the hardware store and about an hour of sealing these areas and you’ll keep more of the heat (and annoying insects) out of your home!