How cool should my house be if it’s 100 outside?
During much of the year, your air conditioning system is the biggest power user in your Texas home. When the temperatures rise to more than 100 degrees outside, it is tempting to keep your house the same temperature as your refrigerator. But resist that temptation! Doing that would cost you hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill and would likely send your outdoor unit to an early grave in the nearest landfill.
So what temperature should you set your thermostat? The Department of Energy EnergySaver program recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees in the summer. More generally, set your thermostat as warm as you can stand it. If you turn off your cooling system during a vacation, don’t reset the thermostat any lower than you normally would. Remember too that cranking the temperature setting down when you come home won’t cool your home any faster.
When you cut high air conditioner usage, Houston temperatures don’t take as big of a bite out of your wallet. Yes, your electricity will go up in the summer, but you can mitigate those costs with strategic actions.
How to reduce electricity consumption of your air conditioner
While it may seem like your air conditioner runs non-stop during the summer, you can take control of when and how long your air conditioner runs. Follow these steps to assert your dominance over your Houston electricity bill:
- Reset your thermostat when you leave for more than a day. Have you ever gone away for the weekend only to remember two hours down the road you forgot to raise your thermostat or shut off your air conditioning system? It happens to all of us. Remembering to do this can save you a few bucks each time. Making it a habit makes the savings really add up over time.
- Invest in a smart thermostat. These handy devices will set you back a few hundred dollar, but they save you money over time. Smart thermostats learn when you’re not at home and adjust the temperature accordingly. They even anticipate when you’ll come home and make sure the temperature reaches your desired setting just in time for your arrival.
- Use ceiling fans. Even though designers on home renovation television shows sometimes scoff at ceiling fans, these fixtures are essential in Texas. They might now lower the temperature in a home, but they make you, your family, and your pets feel cooler at a higher thermostat setting.
- Close blinds and drapes. Sunlight coming through the windows increases the temperature in your home and therefore makes your air conditioner work harder to maintain your temperature setting. Close window coverings to block out the heat.
How to use your air conditioner economically
In addition to the tips listed above, you can also sign up for an electricity plan that shows you how to use your air conditioner effectively:
- Free smart thermostat plans. If you want to invest in a smart thermostat without having to pay for it yourself, check out electricity plans that offer a free one. Houston electricity plans offering a free smart thermostat include TriEagle Energy, SMART Energy 12 and Gexa Energy, Gexa EcoLife 36.
- AC protection plans. Some electricity plans include a warranty that covers your air conditioning system. If your system breaks down, you are only responsible for part of the repair costs which may just be a trip charge for the repair company to investigate the problem. Before signing up, be sure to read the fine print on which repairs are covered and which are not covered. Right now in Houston, Constellation Energy offers the 24 Month w/ Bill Credit + A/C Protection and 12 Month w/ Bill Credit + A/C Protection electricity plans.
Switching Texas electricity companies
Maybe you’re wondering exactly how to switch electricity providers. If you’re ready to give one of these innovative plans a try, switching power providers could not be easier in Texas. In fact, you can do everything you need to do right from http://www.texaselectricityratings.com. Shop for power plans, choose the right one for you, and sign up all at one place!