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5 Easy Ways to Save Energy in the South

Weather conditions in the South, particularly in Texas, can vary wildly, with many people battling dryness in the west and humidity in the east year-round. We all have the right to be comfortable in our own homes, but that comfort can come at a high cost, especially where electricity usage is concerned.
If you’re facing high energy bills or want to ensure you’re doing all you can to save energy, protect your bank balance and still remain comfortable, you may consider doing some of the following things.

Shade Your Home From the Sun

Any Texas energy company you choose will likely have many energy-saving tips to share, but one of the lesser-known ones relates to your home’s exposure to the elements. If you can shade your home from the sun, you may discover that it’s easier to cool.

Install solar window screens, patio covers and awnings in some of the most exposed areas, and even consider planting trees or plants along your west and south windows to block out heat during the warmest parts of the day.

Be Strategic With Heat-Generating Activities

When your home is already warm, performing tasks that could make it even warmer, like dishwashing, cooking and laundering, may not be the best way to save energy. If possible, save those tasks for early in the morning or late in the evening.

Set Your Thermostats Properly

When it’s too hot even to go adventuring in Texas, you may prefer to hunker down at home with your thermostat as low as possible. However, there’s certainly value in finding the optimum temperature for comfort and energy savings.

Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher since every degree lower may increase your energy usage by up to 8 percent. On extra warm days, raise it to 80°F or higher if you plan on leaving for over four hours. It’s important to note that your home will not cool faster by setting your thermostat at a lower temperature than usual.

Be Attentive to Lighting

Our energy usage regarding lighting has come a long way since Congress established the first national lightbulb efficiency standards in 2007. We already use up to 80 percent less energy illuminating our homes than previously, but you can save even more.

Make small changes like turning lights off in rooms you aren’t using and ensuring the bulbs don’t exceed the recommended wattage listed on the sockets. Cleaning lightbulbs regularly and using direct light for tasks like reading rather than your overhead lights may make a difference.

Maintain Your Heating and Cooling Units

We take it for granted that our HVAC units will work as they should without maintenance or care. However, maintenance may reduce how hard they have to work, how much energy they consume and how much money you spend.

Use filters with a MERV 11 rating or higher and clean or replace furnace filters as needed. Ensure your duct systems have no leaks and request professional help to ensure your HVAC system is the most efficient size for your home. You might even like to pay for a professional inspection when the cooler and warmer weather sets in.

Saving energy means you may save money. Try some of these practical tips above and see if it makes a difference to your energy bill before summer temperatures arrive.

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