Long-Term Savings For Homes
AC & HEAT
- Do not use humidifiers or swamp coolers with the AC.
If your AC or heater is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient model.
- Newer models use up to 40% less energy.
- Consider installing a whole-house fan for better circulation.
Maintain your AC and heater so they work efficiently.
- Check your air or furnace filters every month when in use. Replace them at least every three months.
- If you can, have your HVAC unit inspected and maintained in the spring and or fall by a licensed professional.
- Wash the outside coils of your AC. Clear away high grass, leaves and any other debris that could block the flow of air.
- Add trees and shrubs on the east, west, and south sides of your home to keep it insulated naturally.
COMPUTERS, APPLIANCES & ELECTRONICS
- Set your computer and monitor to sleep when idle for more than a few minutes.
- Don't use screen savers. They prevent computers and monitors from going into power-saver mode.
- Make sure the dryer air vent outside your house is properly sealed.
- When buying a new appliance, look for ENERGY STAR qualified products. These options use 10-50% less energy than standard models.
- Check light sockets for the recommended bulb wattage for each lamp or light. Don’t use a higher-wattage bulb. It wastes energy, and it can be a fire hazard. If you need more light, consider using a CFL bulb that produces more light with lower wattage.
- When you can, use one higher-watt bulb instead of two lower-watt bulbs. A single higher-watt bulb is more efficient.
ELECTRIC WATER HEATER
- Repair leaks on warm-water faucets. These leaks just drain your water heater, which means it has to heat more water. That process costs you more.
- Drain your hot water tank regularly to remove sediment.
- If buying a new water heater, consider a tankless unit. These systems are 35-45% more efficient. Plus, you'll never run out of hot water.
WINDOWS, DOORS & INSULATION
- Save up to 10% on cooling costs by caulking windows and weather-stripping doors.
- Upgrade to energy-efficient windows.
- Add solar screens or window tint.
- Check your ducts for leaks and seal them if needed.
- Consider getting an energy audit.
- Make sure your attic has proper ventilation and high R-value insulation. This will help your AC be more efficient and keep more cool air inside your home.
- Use heavy-duty, clear plastic film on the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty.
INCENTIVES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLES
- The Federal Government offers tax incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Texas residents can also check with their local utility providers, as some have energy efficiency programs that offer low-cost loans/rebates and advice on renewable energy technologies.