Twelve Tips to Save Money and Beat the Summer Heat


Heavy rainfall this spring may have resulted in milder temperatures than normal around central Texas, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like summer in Austin. Is your home ready for the heat? Check out these simple energy-saving tips – they’re good for the environment, and good for your pocketbook:

1. Have your cooling system tuned and inspected by a service professional.

2. Change the air filter in your air conditioning system! Simply remaining diligent in changing your air filter regularly can help you to keep your air conditioner functioning at peak performance and efficiency levels.

3. Make sure your air vents are clear of furniture, drapes and other objects.

4. Run your air conditioner at as high a temperature as comfortable: experts recommend 78°F or higher when you’re at home, and 85°F when you’re gone. Set the temperature to change automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one.

5. Minimize indoor heat by running the dryer and dishwasher at night on hot days and using a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill between 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s heat drying cycle.

6. Set your water heater to 120°F.

7. Invest in ceiling fans. They’ll allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Be sure to turn them off when you leave the room!

8. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

9. Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.

10. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Be sure to clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.

11. Turn off extra freezers or refrigerators if they’re not in use, especially if they’re in your garage. Consider using just one refrigerator during the summer months.

12. If you have a pool, consider slowly reducing the pool filtration time in 30-minute increments daily. Continue reducing the time as long as the water appears clean. You may find you only need to run your pool filter six hours a day. Install a time to control the length of time that the pool pump cycles on.

Stay cool!


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