If you’re suffering from higher-than-average energy bills, you need to take a close look at exactly where you’re spending that money.
In Texas, for example, 65% of a household’s energy bill is consumed by air conditioning costs. Sometimes these increased costs are due to insufficient insulation or poor ductwork – situations in which increased AC use still results in an uncomfortable home.
As long as the more serious central air conditioning issues are ruled out, there are a few tweaks that homeowners may make to help lower their electric bills and, more specifically, reduce AC-related energy costs.
Putting The “Unplug Electronics” Myth To Rest
Unplugging electronics throughout the house to stop the pull of electric current does more for peace of mind than it does for your actual energy bill.
Most of these appliances – televisions, coffee makers, video game consoles – make up only 10% of your energy usage. So, unplugging them when not in use will hardly reduce your energy usage.
Smart Thermostats: Hot Or Not?
Smart thermostats make it easy to adjust the temperature in your home if, say, you’re out shopping at the supermarket and forgot to adjust the thermostat before you left the house. If no one’s home and you know you won’t return for a few hours, turning down the temperature is a great way to reduce AC energy consumption. If you have a regular routine, work a full-day job and know no one will be home in your absence, you can use set the thermostat to coincide with your routine.
Besides the energy- and cost-saving benefits of smart thermostats, these electronics also alert homeowners to poor performance and the need for routine maintenance. In the best cases, smart thermostats act as a line out to your HVAC company. Homeowners are able to request service through their smart thermostat with the push of a button.
The effectiveness of the thermostat is based on the user. So, setting them correctly and using the thermostat to its fullest extent will make a big difference.
The Impact Of Interior Lighting
As opposed to traditional light bulbs, LED lights do not put off heat. While the heat that an average light bulb puts off is not tremendous, a switch to LED lights across the entire home makes a big impact.
In some situations with recessed lighting, LED lights are able to seal off gaps where attic heat might infiltrate a room. Sealing off the heat correctly using LED lighting also results in lower electric bills.
Try this LED savings calculator to see exactly how much you will save by switching to LED lights.
Caring For Your AC System Is The Big Money Saver
Caring for your air conditioning unit involves more than scheduling routine maintenance.
In the Houston, TX, area, rainfall attracts ants, and when puddles form around an air conditioning system, these ants become equally attracted to the electric components inside the unit.
Keeping the area around your condenser clean and treating that area with insecticide is one way to keep pests away and your unit free from damage. This has more to do with reducing the amount you pay for repairs than it does with cutting energy bill costs.
The More You Put In, The More You’ll Get Out
Curbing system usage when you’re away from home and changing indoor lighting are both smart starts to reducing energy bills, but the substantial saver is maintaining the efficient working condition of your central cooling system.
The more care you put into your air conditioner, the more reliably and efficiently it will run, resulting in lower energy costs and a cooler, more comfortable home.
Download our tip sheet below to get more ways to reduce your energy bill.