Another long, hot Texas summer is on its way. Here are several ways to use energy more efficiently and save money on electricity during the months ahead.
Change your air conditioning system’s filter every three months during cooling season—or more if your neighborhood is especially dusty. Dirty filters stop air from flowing through, which causes your AC to work harder—and use more energy—as it keeps your home cool.
If you have a programmable thermostat, have it run the AC only during part of the day. There’s no need to keep your house comfortable if nobody’s in it. Running the AC at night could be less expensive than cranking it up during the day, when it’s hot and demand for electricity is at its peak.
Use ceiling fans. If you don’t have any, consider it a good investment. Install them in bedrooms, the kitchen and the living room. Fans move the air around, cooling people nearby. They might allow you to nudge the AC a degree or two higher.
Close the drapes. A sunny day might be pretty to look at through a window, but hot rays can heat the air in your home and force the AC to work overtime. Keep curtains and blinds closed on bright, hot days—especially on south- and west-facing windows.
If you have a pool, wait until after dark to run your pool pump. Operating it during off-peak hours when fewer people are using a lot of appliances at once can save money on your energy bill.
Switch your central air conditioning system’s fan to “auto.” The “on” setting forces it to run constantly—even when your house is already cool.