Looking for A/C Tips for this summer in Houston? There are three guarantees about the weather in Houston during the summer; it’s going to be hot, then really hot and then unbearably hot. You get the point. The summer months in Houston will undoubtedly bring the largely unwelcomed sticky heat that every Houstonian has grown accustomed to. However, we have three helpful energy-saving tips for the summer. Side note… if you live near Minute Maid Park you should pay especially close attention to these tips seeing as you live near the home of the HOTTEST team in professional baseball.
1. BE SMART ABOUT HOW YOU OPERATE THE THERMOSTAT
Living through the hot Texas summers, you’ve probably experienced the battle of the thermostat. It’s a constant tug-of-war between a comfortable setting and an affordable setting. Ultimately, finding the right balance really depends on your priorities. As you can probably attest to, finding that sweet spot of balance between conserving money and having a comfortable temperature can be very challenging.
Many Houston homeowners don’t realize how much of an impact on energy savings your thermostat setting can make. You can easily save up to 10% annually simply by bumping up the setting on your thermostat by only 7 to 10 degrees than what you normally like it at during the summer. You don’t even have to do it the entire time, just for eight hours—like while you’re at work at not even home.
We all know that you want to keep the heat outside and keep the cool inside. But don’t go overboard with your thermostat. In order to keep from spending an outrageous amount of money on your electric bill, set your thermostat to the highest possible comfortable temperature during the day. Sure, it might feel good to have the air set on 73 degrees during the day, but maybe you should try setting it on 78 degrees while at work and down to 75 when you’re home. Who knows, you might like how much money you save on your next bill.
Tips to Help Achieve Efficient Thermostat Settings & Reduce Electricity Costs:
- If 78 degrees for the Houston summers seems a bit unachievable for you, try working your way up to 78 by starting at 75 degrees. Every week or so, increase the temperature by one degree until you reach 78 degrees. You will find that a sudden shift in temperature might indeed be unbearable, but that same temperature shift done gradually can be almost unnoticed. Your body will acclimate on its own when it is a gradual shift. You can even do this in winter to save on heating and work your way down to a frugal 68 degrees.
- When trying to cool your house, always lower the temperature after sundown. Your AC will work more efficiently as it doesn’t have to combat the intensity of the sun during the night hours. With lower temperatures at night and the sun not pummeling your home, your AC has a chance to catch up. Also, cooling your home this way will prolong the life of your HVAC system.
- You can make good use of fans in the heat to cool your main living area and the bedrooms during the day. Circulating air always helps keep a home cool and also saves money since they HVAC won’t come on as much—it uses much more electricity than a ceiling fan or portable model.
- Houston summers mean intense and hot sunshine that beats down on your home all day long. Help fight the good fight by keeping window blinds and shades closed or drawn down to repel some of those UV rays.
You should also look into a smart thermostat or at the very least a programmable one. You can control the temperature changes while you are away and while home as well. Just make sure to keep the range between home and away somewhat close. If you create too much variance between the too, it could end up costing more money to return it to the set temperature.
Smart thermostats are even better, especially since many can actually learn your habits and your local climate. They can automatically adjust to your schedule as they “learn” when people are most often present and when the home is empty.
You could actually end up saving quite a bit of money if you find a healthy balance on the thermostat and take proactive measures to keep the house cool while keeping the electric bill low.
2. DON’T COUNTERACT YOUR COOLING EFFORTS BY HEATING YOUR HOME WITH LIGHTS AND APPLIANCES
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, only 10-15% of the energy consumed by incandescent lights actually turns into light. The rest of the energy consumed is turned into heat. If you’re trying to cool off your home and save money on your electric bill, then turn off the lights in your house and let in some natural light. Turning on all your lights is only counteracting your effort to cool your house. That would be like trying to lose weight but deciding to eat a greasy burger every day for lunch.
So, next time you find yourself watching the Carlos Correa and José Altuve turn double plays for the Astros on Sunday afternoons (because what else would you do on a Sunday afternoon?), turn off the lighting in the room and find a way to let in the natural light.
If you are really serious about being energy efficient you can have a healthy compromise by retrofitting your home with energy-efficient LED lighting. LED light bulbs can not only replace traditional bulbs of almost any size, but they also have a lot more advantages.
LED light bulbs have no filament and can outlast a traditional light bulb by as much as a decade in some cases. They don’t heat up like traditional bulbs nor are they hot to the touch, so they are safe for homes with small children. You will also notice that LED lightbulbs tend to light up a room much better than a traditional bulb due to their intensity and efficient design.
Fire Up the Grill
Now let’s talk about another source of heat, shall we? We understand wanting to have a great meal to enjoy at home with family while you watch Astros baseball. However, why heat up the house by firing up the oven and the stove? After all, nothing pairs with George Springer moonshot home runs over the train tracks at Minute Maid Park like cooking out.
So, fire up the grill outside and grill some hotdogs or hamburgers (hey, burgers are Keto right?). Besides, grilling and watching baseball go together like Houston and the heat. Not only is cooking on the grill less mess for your kitchen (don’t forget the paper plates), you also save some serious money on air conditioning.
3. Allow Your Local AirTeam Professionals to Help You Keep Your System Running Efficiently
The best way to keep your air conditioning system running effectively and efficiently is to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning equipment. It is especially important to schedule a pre-season tune-up right before the Houston heat reaches its peak intensity.
We all know that the last thing you want to come home to after a long day at work during the summer months is a busted A/C system resulting in extremely uncomfortable and borderline dangerous temperatures inside your house. The best way to prevent this kind of disaster is to become an AirTeam MVP member.
Our MVP program is a preventive maintenance program designed to keep your system working as efficiently as possible and you comfortable throughout the year while keeping your utility bills in line.
Follow these helpful tips and you are well on your way to enjoying a relaxing summer in the cool temperatures of your house while watching the good guys down at Minute Maid Park march toward playoff baseball.
Contact us today to schedule your estimate.