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Tips for Staying Energy-Efficient While Cooling Your Texas Home

Set the times and temperatures to match your schedule and you may save money and be comfortably cool when you return home.

  • Try increasing your air conditioner temperature. Even 2 degrees higher could mean significant savings, and you'll probably not notice the difference.
  • Keep central air conditioner usage to a minimum, or even turn the unit off, if you plan to go away.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat. Just set the times and temperatures to match your schedule, and you may save money while staying comfortably cool.
  • Get air conditioner maintenance each year. Make sure your service person checks the condenser coils, the evaporator coils, the blower wheel, the filter, the lubrication and the electrical contacts. Replace worn and dirty equipment for maximum efficiency.
  • Replace air conditioner filters every month for maximum benefits. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer, increasing its energy use.
  • Buy the proper size equipment to meet your family's needs. An oversized air conditioner unit will waste energy.
  • If you have a furnace, replace it at the same time as your air conditioner system. Why? Because it's your furnace fan that blows cool air around your home, and a newer furnace fan provides improved air circulation all year round, plus saves energy costs.
  • Ensure that you have adequate insulation. Insulation is designed to keep heat out during the summer and to keep heat in during the winter. Adequate insulation can more than pay for itself in just a few years in money saved on air-conditioning and heating operation.
  • Make sure your attic has adequate ventilation. Attic temperatures sometimes top 140 degrees during the summer months. Good attic ventilation may lower that temperature and reduce cooling requirements in your home.
  • Shade the glass of your windows, particularly on the east and west sides, with awnings, solar screens, or shutters. Trees and shrubs that shade your home also help to reduce the air-conditioning workload. Venetian blinds or drapes are helpful, as well.
  • If you close your fireplace damper during the summer and winter (when not in use), you may save on both your cooling and heating bills. Installation of a glass fireplace screen will also help prevent air from escaping up the chimney.
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