Which spring chores will help conserve Texas electricity?
Electricity is one of those expenses you probably don’t mind paying, but you never want to pay more than what is necessary. From now until the heat of summer, Texas electricity bills will steadily increase along with the outside temperature.
Spring cleaning can be about more than just tidying up. Sure it feels good to have a clean home, but what if a little cleaning today could save you money each month? By completing the chores described below, you can reduce the amount of energy you use. In turn, you spend less money on electricity. A little elbow grease now will keep more money in your pocket month after month.
Clean your outdoor air conditioner unit
Your air conditioner works hard in the summer to keep your home cool. For most homes, the air conditioning system uses more electricity than any appliance. Make sure you keep the system in tip-top shape.
Before it takes its annual beating from the hot Texas weather, clean your outdoor air conditioner unit. Dust, leaves, grass clippings, and other debris can get sucked into your outdoor unit. Cleaning the condenser coils allows them to function at their top capacity. It only takes a few hours from start to finish, and your air conditioning system will work more efficiently which saves you money.
And make sure you clean the unit again during the summer. Mowing churns up all sorts of small particles and debris that can coat your condenser coils and reduce its cooling efficiency.
Seal your home’s air leaks
The tiniest of holes in your home’s exterior can cause cool air to seep out of your home when the outdoor temperature is higher than your thermostat setting. The most common places for air to seep out are windows and doors.
It’s actually fairly straightforward to check your home for air leaks. Performing a visual inspection can allow you to detect gaps between doors and jambs as well as eroded or missing caulk around windows. Caulk leaky windows, and make sure your doors are hung squarely and have the right amount of weather stripping.
For harder to find air leaks, you can do a basic building pressurization test to increase air flow through cracks and leaks making them easier to detect:
- On a cool and windy day, turn off all combustion appliances including gas furnaces and water heaters.
- Close all windows, exterior doors, and chimney flues.
- Turn on all exhaust fans that blow air outside including bathroom fans and your stove’s vent hood. This sucks air out of your home.
- Light a candle or incense stick and pass it around the edges of common leak locations. If the smoke wavers, there’s a draft. You can also wet your hand and hold it close to a drafty location. The water will allow you to better feel the draft.
Clean your dryer vent
Even if you’re diligent about cleaning your dryer’s lint trap after each load, lint can get into your dryer vent hose. The more that’s in there, the harder your dryer has to work to push out hot air. A clear hose gives your dryer the exhaust flow it needs to run well. A clogged dryer vent causes the appliance to work much harder than is necessary.
You don’t want your electricity meter running faster than it should! Even more importantly, a clogged hose is a fire hazard. The accordion style vent hoses are notorious for trapping lint and kinking. Prevent dryer fires by cleaning your vent hose at least once per year.
Shop for a new Texas electricity plan
You may think switching Texas electricity companies is difficult, but it’s a lot easier than you may realize. When you sign up with a new company, that company takes care of informing your old provider about your plan to switch. Once you pay the final bill from your old provider, you’re done with them.
Spring electricity rates tend to be some of the lowest each year. Compare electricity plans at http://www.texaselectricityratings.com to see whether you’re paying too much to your current retail electricity provider.