Would you like your house to be the coolest on the block without feeling like you’re donating your paycheck to the local utilities company?
Then read on as we cover some tips and tricks to lower your home air-conditioning bill during the blazing Texas summer!
Let’s start with the lowest-cost, fastest options first:
1. Keep the Blinds Closed
Did you know closing the blinds can save you up to 7% on your electric bill and lower temperatures in your home by up to 20 degrees, according to website Family Handyman?
While you’ve probably felt the difference this makes at some point in your life, it’s nice to know what kind of return you can expect for your efforts here! For added savings, install neutral-colored blackout curtains to the south- and west-facing windows that see the most sunshine.
2. Close the Doors to Unused Rooms
Are areas of your home only used in the evening, or when guests come to stay with you? Shutting those doors during the day reduces amount of air your AC unit has to keep cool and saves energy.
If you work from a home office, you might even considering turning off your central air completely and choose to rely on a small portable AC unit for one-room cooling during the workday.
3. Change Your Ceiling Fan's Rotation
Adjusting your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise on high speed in the summer will move the cooler, bottom air under the fan upward.
By creating this wind-chill effect, you’ll feel cooler so you can adjust the thermostat and save money.
(Flip the script in the winter by running your fan on low-speed in the clockwise direction, to send the warmer air downward.)
4. Turn on Exhaust Fans
Whenever you’re taking a hot shower or in the kitchen cooking, remember that turning on the exhaust external fan will move the short-term hot air out of your home and lighten the load on your AC.
Even better? Light up the grill for dinner and keep the hot air completely outside your home.
5. Replace Your AC Filter Every Month During the Summer
Filters for AC units are typically inexpensive and clean new ones allow it to operate at a reduced load.
According to the US Department of Energy, replacing a clogged filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent. If you’re cooling a larger house, this make a lot of sense.
6. Replace Your Door Weather Guards
Another inexpensive option, replacing the weather guards around the edges of your exterior doors might cost less than eighty dollars for your house and greatly reduce the amount of cold air seeping out.
This is typically the cheapest fix for heat leakage without calling in a professional to perform an energy audit – often using a special heat-detecting camera.
7. Invest in an Energy Audit, Attic Insulation, and a High-Efficiency AC Unit
Is your house leaking in heat all over and sporting a lower-efficiency AC unit (lower than a rating of SEER 14) that’s old enough to be replaced?
While investing in these options requires some upfront funding, they’re likely to pay for themselves as lower utility bills in a hot climate like Texas. Call your local utility to schedule an onsite (and often free) energy audit and find out what makes sense for your home.
Looking to buy an energy efficient home in Austin, Texas? Contact one of our local agents who are always happy to help you with all your real estate needs!