In Texas, we are lucky to have access to affordable energy rates. However, we don’t always get to take advantage of these great rates in the summer when temps start to soar. With routine triple-digit days, every inefficiency is amplified during the hotter months.
In order to help your family save energy and money, we’ve put together this TX home energy efficiency guide for Texan locals to reference.
TX Home Energy Efficiency Tips
Want to save more energy this summer? Use the tips below as a starting point for reducing energy waste and improving your overall energy efficiency:
Run larger appliances at night.
Running your dishwasher or doing laundry at night will limit the heat produced by these larger appliances during the day. As the sun sets, the temperatures naturally start to drop and it becomes much more reasonable to raise the temperature inside your home by running larger appliances. You may also receive a discount from your energy provider for running energy during non-peak hours.
Regularly replace HVAC filters.
Air filters help protect your system from dust and debris. Replacing air or furnace filters is a simple process. Filters are inexpensive. However, despite all of this, it’s easy to overlook this important maintenance step. Write yourself a reminder on your calendar or in your agenda book to remind yourself to check and replace your air filters each month.
When filters are dirty, it not only places your system at risk of malfunction but it impacts your system’s energy efficiency greatly. If dust and dirt are allowed to gum up your AC’s components, it won’t be able to operate at its maximum capacity. A visibly dirty filter will also become a liability in that it will make your HVAC system work harder to force air throughout your home. Take a few minutes each month to check and replace your air filters to avoid the short and long-term risks of dirty filters.
Become a fan of fans.
If you properly utilize stand-up, desk, boxed and ceiling fans throughout your day, you can raise your thermostat to a more optimum energy saving setting and not even notice it. If you have cool air blowing on you, your body heat won’t be impacted by raising the thermostat up a few degrees. Investing in reliable fans will pay off in a few months or years through lower energy bills.
Fire up the grill.
Even more so than running larger appliances, running the stove-top or oven will quickly raise interior temperatures. This not only adds to the discomfort for you and your family, but it will also force your A/C to kick on more frequently to maintain a cool home. By firing up the grill or smoker, you avoid raising temperatures within your home without eliminating great options from your dinner menu.
Create a splash.
If you’re feeling like you’re baking in an oven, cooped up in your home this summer, rely on some fun creative ways to cool off outside to resist cranking down the A/C. Summer in Texas gets stuffy fast and you can’t just open up doors or windows to bring in the fresh air.
To keep the AC set at an energy saving setting, hit the nearest watering hole, break out the sprinkler and have some summer fun to beat the heat.
Go green (with indoor plants).
Summer is the perfect time to liven up your home with some refreshing indoor plants. Not only will indoor plants provide a welcomed pop of color to your home, but indoor plants can reduce humidity levels. Humidity makes warm temperatures feel warmer, making it nearly impossible to get comfortable inside your home. By reducing humidity, it allows you to stick to a normal thermostat setting.
Track humidity levels, and consider a dehumidifier.
Humidity is a comfort killer. Whether it’s summer or winter, high humidity levels make hot days hotter and cold days cooler. Sometimes, you can feel higher levels of humidity. However, sometimes you may need to rely on technology to detect slightly higher levels of humidity. Smart thermostats can help you detect exact levels of humidity, making it easier to control humidity levels for your comfort.
If you find that you tend to experience higher humidity levels in your home, you may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier helps you better control humidity levels in your home to improve home comfort. Using a dehumidifier will also allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher to save money while reducing the humidity in the air.
Check your insulation.
Exterior and attic insulation contribute greatly to your home’s energy efficiency. The purpose of insulation is to seal your home. More specifically to seal out the heat and seal in the cool in the summer. Without thorough and effective insulation, your home will essentially leak energy.
Ensure that your walls and attic are properly insulated through self or professional inspection. If insulation is too thin or ineffective, you are not receiving the full energy efficiency benefits. Luckily, Texas is a warm weather climate and does not require the highest level of insulation, but it doesn’t mean that poor insulation won’t greatly increase your monthly energy bills.
Inspect your home for leaks.
While insufficient insulation acts like a leak, actual leaks can similarly impact your energy consumption. Poorly sealed vents, doorways, and windows or cracks along the foundation of your home will leak the temperature controlled the air that your HVAC system is producing out of your home. This will force your air conditioner to run continually to struggle to keep replenishing your home with cool air.
Ensure that your ducts are sealed and cleared.
Leaks in your air ductwork can add 30% to your HVAC energy consumption. If your ducts are poorly sealed, it creates cracks for the newly produced air to seep through. These leaks will make your HVAC system work harder to cool or heat your home.
Clean ducts also improve air quality, which helps keep your HVAC system clean and functioning at its best. If you find that your ducts are dirty or clogged, it may be time to call in HVAC technicians for professional duct cleaning services.
Properly use your blinds and drapes.
Something as simple as understanding when to close drapes and blinds in the summer can impact energy costs. When you leave for work, close up blinds and curtains to limit the amount of heat that enters your home from the sun.
If you are home during the day, monitor the location of the sun in orientation to your home and window placement. If you notice sunlight shining through a window, close it up and open up windows on the opposite end of your home to still let in natural light. When the evening hours arrive, reverse this process to cut out heat from the sun and still brighten up your home.
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees.
Did you know that 78 degrees is the optimum energy saving setting for your AC? It’s the perfect setting to save the most money while still providing your home with comfortably cool air. Not all Texans are the same, and this setting may not work for your comfort preferences. But if you utilize fans and limit the humidity levels inside your home, you’ll find that 78 degrees can be very comfortable for you and your bank account.
Have your HVAC system maintained for optimum performance.
Regularly changing your filter is not enough to properly maintain your HVAC system. As with any other piece of technology, minor and major issues can occur. Having a local Lewisville HVAC technician come to your home for annual or biannual HVAC maintenance services will not only ensure your system checks all the standard boxes in terms of performance, but it will also give you an expert’s eye for any and all red flags that can occur. Certain minor malfunctions can be signs of serious issues, and if they don’t get resolved, it can result in energy inefficiency and system failure.
HVAC maintenance pays off in both short and long-term ways. Whether you’re just keeping your system running at 100% or you’re extending its lifespan by years, the cost of maintenance is trivial in the savings you’ll incur as a result. Don’t overlook the power of routine maintenance, especially when it comes to energy efficiency in Texas.
Consider intuitive home comfort solutions.
The HVAC industry has evolved beyond the standard manual thermostat and into complete control centers that can not only program AC or furnace settings but also react to certain temperature and atmospheric changes. Smart and intuitive HVAC technology has empowered homeowners to make the most of their HVAC system’s performance. Whether your system senses that you have left the home and adjusts its settings or it is monitoring humidity levels and telling you how to optimize your energy efficiency, smart technology is more than just a convenience.
Consider investing in a smart thermostat to experience the best in in-home energy efficiency. Not only will it help you save more money on energy bills over time, but you’ll also be able to keep your home more comfortable automatically.
Improve your indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality is an important part of home comfort. The dust, dirt, allergens, pollutants, and other particles that enter your home from the outdoor air can affect the air inside your home. IAQ products help you reduce these contaminants, making it easier for you and your family to breathe clean, fresh air in your home. However, it’s also important to note that IAQ can impact the performance and energy efficiency of your HVAC system.
By utilizing air purifiers and UV lamps, you can eliminate pesky allergens and contaminants in your home. These airborne particles can gum up your AC and cause mold and mildew that can invite pests inside your home. The more elements that can damage your system’s performance, the harder your AC will have to work to cool your home, which means higher energy bills for you. Limit the factors that can harm your HVAC system to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Upgrade your air conditioning and heating systems.
If your system is over 10 years old, it’s time to start considering an upgrade. While HVAC systems can last up to 20 years, it’s not always best to continue running an older system until it dies just because, when a newer system could provide greater long-term savings by immediately improving your energy efficiency.
When your system reaches a certain age (typically 10 years old) keep a close eye on your energy bill. If it starts to rise, despite routine maintenance, your system may not have what it takes to efficiently cool your home. It may also be functioning with older technology that was not as efficient to begin with. It’s also important to monitor repair closely. If you have to repair your system more than 3 times in one year, or a repair costs nearly as much as a newer system, it’s best to move on.
Get a New Energy Efficient HVAC System
If your current heating and cooling system just isn’t cutting it when it comes to energy efficiency, it may be time to upgrade to a new unit. At Advent Air, we provide multiple financing options that make it that much easier to make the leap to a newer, more efficient HVAC system. Our home comfort specialists can help you find the perfect heating and cooling system that meets your home comfort needs.
If you feel like your home comfort could use an upgrade, or you have more energy efficiency questions, give us a call to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable HVAC experts: (469) 240-5456.