Along with food and shelter, energy expenses are another of life’s necessities. As a Texas homeowner, you rely on various types of fuel and energy to power everything from your television to your A/C, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cut costs along the way. Here are some great tips for saving energy dollars that are easy to implement, and can help you manage and control your energy usage all year round.
Tips for Today
- Evaluate major appliances, such as your refrigerator, noting the age and condition of each. Make plans to replace older, inefficient items with new energy-efficient models. By planning ahead, you can keep an eye out for sales, rather than making an emergency purchase when the old unit dies.
- Take stock of home lighting, and start switching out incandescent bulbs for high efficiency compact flourescent’s (CFL’s). These new bulbs can save as much as 75 percent of your lighting costs, and are made in a variety of types and sizes to suit most fixtures. To maximize your savings, start by replacing your most frequently used 60W to 100W incandescent bulbs.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees, to immediately begin saving energy dollars and prevent accidental scalding.
- Replace or clean dirty HVAC air filters in your home; during peak heating or cooling seasons, change the filter on a monthly basis. Inspect them monthly year round.
- From today on, begin using the energy saving setting on your washer and dryer, fridge, dishwasher and other appliances.
- Take advantage of window coverings to control the amount of heat transfer between the indoors and outdoors. During cooling season, keep drapes and blinds closed on south- and west-facing windows during the day, and open during heating season.
Tips for the Week
- Assess your HVAC system, to see if any components need replacing. Consider the age and repair history of your equipment; if your A/C, heat pump or furnace is more than 12-15 years old, or needs repairs that equal 50 percent or more of its value, replacing it with a high-efficiency upgrade will instantly save money and energy.
- Examine your home’s exterior, looking for evidence of air leakage. Seal leaks around doors and windows with caulking or weatherstripping, have cracks in the foundation repaired, and insulate exterior outlets and switches.
- Install and/or set your programmable thermostat, and start saving energy dollars year round. During cooling season, program the unit 7 to 10 degrees higher than your ideal setpoint for times you are asleep or away, and back down an hour before you’re due home; during heating season, lower and raise the temperature accordingly.
Tips for the Month
- Evaluate insulation levels in your attic and crawlspace or basement, to prevent heat transfer between spaces. In the attic, aim for an R-value between R-38 and R-49 with R-13 in the basement. Depending on the type of insulation you use, this will amount to between 12 and 18 inches.
- Schedule a professional energy audit to help identify more areas where you could be saving energy dollars.
- Compile your energy bills, separating fuel bills from electric. Note which one is highest, focusing your conservation efforts there first.
- Make the switch to low-flow faucets and showerheads. This inexpensive investment will reduce water consumption as well as the amount of energy used to heat it.
Tips for the Year
- Schedule annual preventive maintenance in the spring and fall, to ensure your heating and cooling equipment is running safely and efficiently. Your contractor will clean, tune and service your equipment, and perform any necessary repairs prior to the start of the season.
- Perform a periodic inspection on all visible ductwork, checking for cracks or areas of disconnection. Seal these with foiled backed tape or duct mastic to prevent air loss and improve the quality of your indoor air.
- Strategic landscaping can provide shade to your outdoor compressor, roof and windows, saving energy dollars throughout the summer months.
For more tips on saving energy dollars today and every day, give us a call at Conditioned Air TX, proudly serving homeowners in the Bellaire, River Oaks and Sugar Land areas for over 50 years.
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