Texas Energy News August 05, 2023

Tips To Beat The Heat

One of the ways we stay cool is by staying in air conditioning. What would we do without our A/C? We wanted to share three tips that might help keep your A/C unit running smoothly.

  • Clean or replace your A/C filter regularly
  • Give your A/C a rest if you are not home by turning the temperature up a  few degrees
  • Clear plants, trees, grasses and weeds around your A/C unit that could block airflow to it

Running Your A/C 
While running our A/C unit is important in this weather, it also means more electric use and higher electricity bills. Consider these important points to optimize the efficiency of your unit and energy consumption when running your A/C:

  • Don’t set your A/C thermostat colder than normal when turning it on.  Your home won’t cool any faster. It could result in a higher electric bill
  • For every degree below 78 degrees Fahrenheit that you reduce your thermostat, it's going to add about 3% to your energy bill per degree
  • According to the Department of Energy, if you use air conditioning to cool your home, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. This means if you want your home to feel 74°F, set your thermostat to 78°F and turn on your ceiling fan

Staying Cool and Safe
Priority number one in this weather is to stay cool and be safe. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and others.

  •  Frequently check on older friends, family members and neighbors
  • Never leave anyone, including pets, in a car or truck no matter how short the time
  • Drink lots of water and limit outdoor activity to the morning and evening. Find shade to give your body a chance to cool down if you have to be out during the hottest times of the day
  • Watch for signs of heat illness, such as nausea and dizziness. Respond immediately by finding shade and drinking water slowly

Ways To Conserve Energy
We can all do our part to manage energy costs while staying safe in these temperatures. Try these steps to help control your electricity usage.

  • Unplug electronics and appliances that aren’t in use. Devices like phone chargers and coffee makers consume energy when they are plugged in but not in use
  • Be sure your ceiling fan is spinning counter-clockwise. This will push cool air down. You can also use fans to cool off rooms and give the A/C a rest.
  • Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater
  • Wash your clothes in cold water and do your laundry during the off-peak times of early morning or late evening
  • Only run your dishwasher when it is full and use the air-dry option
  • Minimize the use of your stove or oven by using a microwave, air fryer or pressure cooker, which all cost less to use and give off less heat
  • Take fewer baths and shorten your shower time
  • Turn off any light that is not in use
  • Swap out any incandescent light bulbs in your home with LED bulbs. LED lights emit less heat, which can save you money on your monthly bill
  • Seal any cracks or leaks in windows or doors
  • Keep your blinds and shades closed to keep out the sunlight