If you are from Texas, you know a thing or two about high utility bills in the summer. A/C units work overtime and lawns need extra hydration. Whether you own a home or rent an apartment, there are plenty of tools and hacks to save money during these hot summer months in Texas.
When it comes to air conditioning, our home inspector Randy Barfield recommends adjusting the thermostat to around 78 – 80 degrees when no one is home to help save money on your electric bill. Another way to make sure your A/C unit is working as efficiently as possible is to perform regular maintenance, which includes changing filters and cleaning the A/C condenser and evaporator coils.
As you bump up the temperature before you leave each day, also remember to turn off lights and unplug appliances that are not being used.
Austin Energy is a great resource for finding ways to use energy efficiently. Here are a few of their summer saving tips:
- Install LED light bulbs. LEDs use 90% less electricity, generate less heat, and last 10-25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs, and five times longer than Compact Florescent Lightbulbs (CFLs).
- Close shades/curtains on windows hit by direct sunlight. This helps to prevent heat from getting indoors.
- Provide shade for outside AC units. AC units shaded by trees or structures work more efficiently and use up to 10% less electricity.
- Avoid turning on the oven during the hottest time of the day. Using a microwave or a slow cooker produces less heat.
- Let someone else pay the energy bills. Go to a library, shopping center or community center and take advantage of climate-controlled activities away from home.
When it comes to water bills, not only is it vital to conserve water this time of year in Texas, it also helps you save. We can all make an effort to take shorter showers, turn off the sink when brushing our teeth, run the dishwasher less, and water our lawns less. Beyond these simple daily adjustments, make sure to:
- Replace shower heads (so they work more efficiently)
- Check for leaks and fix leaking faucets
- Check the city website for designated watering days: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/water-conservation
- Perform regular maintenance on your irrigation system
- Replace old appliances
Incorporating these simple changes into your daily or weekly routine is an easy way to cut spending and save more money each month. Fall weather is just around the corner, but in the meantime use these tips make it through this blazing summer!