Texas gets hot, I mean really hot, during the Summer. Often times our HVAC unit has to work around the clock just to keep up with the intensity of the Summer sun. As the temperatures climb, your electric bill tends to do the same. Here are some ways that you can keep your cooling bill down while the temperature outside goes up.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Whether it is spray foam along the bottom of your home or weather-stripping around the door, every little space and crack allows warm air to seep into your home. Make certain that there is insulation on the base of the windows and doors. Insulate your wall outlets with specially designed foam insulators (They keep the mice out too). Check the insulation in your attic and add more if needed. Years of sitting can compress the insulation, so you need to be certain that it stays fluffy to do its job. If you have the financial means to do so, invest in energy efficient windows and doors. Products with the Energy-Star label have passed a Performance test done by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Shade it All
Shade your home both inside and out. Growing shade trees is one way to lower the temperature both outside and inside your home. The Department of Energy estimates that air temperatures under trees “can be as much as 25°F cooler than air temperatures above nearby blacktop.” Large shade trees take time to grow, so you can plant quick growing shrubs until your trees have reached the appropriate height. When shading the inside of your home, look for ways to not only block the light but also reflect it. Window Tints come in DIY packaging and are a fairly inexpensive way to cool your home. The tint reflects the light back off of the door or window, thereby reducing the amount of light and heat that make it into the house. Blackout shades also lower the amount of light and heat that enter a room, thereby dropping the temperature variance. Attaching shades to the outsides of your windows, especially the large bay windows, is also a great way to lower the temperature in your home.
It’s the Summertime! The best (and tastiest) way to lower the temperatures in your home is to cook outside. If you are not having to heat up the kitchen with all of the appliances, then your HVAC unit does not have to work as hard to bring the temperature back down again. Give your stove, microwave, and oven a break this Summer. Go outside. Cook over the grill or an open fire. Enjoy being with your family and friends, and give your AC a break. If you turn the lights off in the house and only sit on the patio, you’ll be saving electricity there too. Saving money, sharing memories, and eating good food. THAT is what Summer is all about.