As the summer sun and humidity beat down on Houston, we brace ourselves for another season of battling high electric bills. With temperatures soaring and air conditioners running around the clock, it’s common for energy costs to skyrocket during the summer months. However, there are strategic ways to keep those bills in check without sacrificing comfort. By implementing simple yet effective energy-saving strategies, we Houstonians can stay cool while also saving money on electric bills. 

Don’t set your thermostat too high or too low when leaving the house for the day. Many people think that setting their thermostat to a high temperature will help keep their energy usage and monthly bills down. But that is not true. If you set your thermostat to 80 degrees and turn it down to around 74 degrees when you get home, you are causing your unit to work really hard. It will run constantly until your whole house reaches 74 degrees, which could take hours in our Houston heat. By setting and keeping your thermostat set in the range of 76-78 degrees, it won’t have to work as hard to cool down, which will save you money and energy. 

Keep the doors to rooms inside your house open. In many houses, certain rooms cool faster than other rooms. By keeping bedroom doors open you are helping the air inside your home circulate and recondition all air inside the home, and doing this will keep your home cooler.  

Don’t forget to change your air filters. Changing your air filters is important, but it is especially important during the summer when the need for optimal airflow is so necessary. Dirty air filters restrict airflow and put stress on your whole HVAC system. When your HVAC system is stressed, it runs inefficiently and uses more energy than it should. During the summer it is a good idea to change your air filters once a month, and change your whole house filters that are attached to your AC unit twice a year. 

Turn ceiling fans off when you leave a room. Ceiling fans are great because they help circulate airflow, but they actually do nothing when it comes to cooling down a room. According to experts, ceiling fans only give you the sensation of being cool, and because of this it is important to turn them off to save energy when you leave a room.  

Have a professional inspect your ductwork. The number one cause of higher energy bills is related to leaky ductwork. In fact, you can lose up to 28% of your cool air because of small holes and leaks. If you have leaks and you don’t realize it, you are paying a lot of money to air condition your attic, and no one wants that! Having a professional come out to inspect your ductwork can end up saving you thousands of dollars. 

Make sure your home has enough insulation. Attic insulation acts as a blanket for your house. It helps to keep your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer by not allowing air to escape through the roof. On average, insulation needs to be added every 10-12 years. So if your home is a certain age, this is something to consider doing. 

Check your doors and windows for leaks. Just like leaks in your ductwork, leaks in doors and windows amount to a significant loss of cool air, which is why it is important to have them checked annually for leaks. Caulk, which is used to seal small holes around the perimeter of your doors and windows, has a shelf life and needs to be replaced at least once a year. Sealing up all leaks will ensure that air conditioned air stays inside your home. 

Managing high electric bills during the summer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By implementing the energy-saving strategies listed above, you can make a significant impact on reducing your electricity costs. And if you do run into an issue with your HVAC unit, remember to call the experts at JW East!