Energy Saving Tips for Houston Home Owners

  • Installing Proper insulation and Radiant Barrier Could save you up to 30% on your next Electric bill
  • Purchase a central AC system with a SEER number (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of 14 or better. It may cost more up front but a less efficient system will cost you more to run over time. Click here to see how much you can save per year with a new high efficiency AC system.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your air conditioning unit. Replace filters monthly (preferably with a good media filter) during the cooling season and have a professional perform regular maintenance on your system at the beginning of each cooling season.
  • Install a programmable thermostat so you can adjust the temperature higher or lower according to when you’re home. Set it at a reasonable temperature when you’re home. If you’ll be gone for more than a few hours, it makes sense to set the air conditioning 10 degrees higher in the summer and 10 degrees lower in the winter while you’re gone.
  • Make sure your air conditioning condenser is located in a shady spot and has room to breathe and dispose of the heated air it removes from your house. Don’t plant shrubs to close, build fences to close, or put anything else to close to the condenser.
  • Plant large shady trees and shrubs around your house to help reduce the heat of the sun, especially on the west and south sides. Doing this can reduce your cooling costs by up to 30%.
  • Close drapes, blinds or curtains on the sunny side of your house.
  • Install awnings on the windows on the sunny side of your house.
  • Sealing up air leaks in your house will reduce your air conditioning costs as well as heating costs. Caulk or seal places where utilities come into your home (plumbing, electricity, dryer vents, etc.). Fill gaps around chimneys. Weatherstrip around drafty windows and doors.
  • Install energy efficient ceiling fans and run them on hot days. If it’s just a little too warm for comfort, use the ceiling fan without air conditioning. If it’s hot enough to require air conditioning, using the ceiling fans at the same time allows you to raise the temperature setting by five degrees, which will reduce your costs. Use the ceiling fan only when you’re in the room, because running the fan doesn’t actually lower the temperature. The moving air increases the amount of evaporation from your skin and helps cool you off.
  • The darker the color of your house, the more heat it will absorb, so if you’re building, buying, or considering repainting, choose lighter colors for the exterior.
  • Thirty percent of the heat in your house is absorbed through the roof. Make sure your attic is properly ventilated. Vents in the eaves allows cooler air to enter. A ridge vent or an attic fan can significantly reduce your cooling costs.
  • Consider putting reflective window tint on your windows to reduce the amount of heat absorbed.
  • Any heat that’s generated inside your home has to be removed by your cooling system, so avoid generating heat inside your home whenever possible. Cook on your outdoor grill as often as possible, or use a crockpot and the microwave oven. Use the ‘air dry’ setting on your dishwasher.
  • Close off rooms that you aren’t using and the cooling ducts to those rooms.
  • Make sure the cooled air coming from your air conditioning vents is not obstructed by furniture or draperies.
  • Turn off lights when not in use. Lights produce heat, which makes your air conditioning system work harder (and cost more).
  • Your computer and other home office equipment also generate heat. Turn them off when not in use.