Tips for Homes
Save on your energy bill by turning up your AC 1-2° — save even more when you use a programmable or Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat.
- Every degree above 78 can save you up to 8% on your energy bill.
- Setting your AC to a very low temperature does not make your house cool down faster. It just wastes energy.
- Set or program your AC to 80° when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
- Set the AC to cool down after 7 p.m.
- A programmable or smart thermostat can automatically adjust cooling or heating temperatures for optimal performance and savings. A smart thermostat may be adjusted remotely.
- Use fans. They make a room feel 4-6° cooler.
Keep out the sun and hot air.
- Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
- Close blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight.
- Shade your outside AC units or condensers.
- Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom. They pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
- Save on your energy bill by turning up your AC 1-2° — save even more when you use a programmable or Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat.
Turn down your heat 1-2° or as low as is comfortable — save even more on your energy bill when you use a programmable or smart thermostat.
- Setting your heat to a very high temperature does not make your house heat up faster. It just wastes energy.
- Set or program your heat to 55° when you’re gone for more than 4 hours.
- Turning your thermostat down 7° to 10° for 8 hours a day in the fall or winter, and up in the spring and summer can save you up to 10% per year on your heating and cooling bills.
Keep out the cool air and let in the sun.
- Make sure windows and doors are closed tightly.
- Open blinds or drapes on windows that get direct sunlight during the day to naturally heat your home. Close them at night to reduce the chill.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping it open is like keeping a window open during the winter; warm air goes right up the chimney.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room and lower your thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- Turn down your heat 1-2° or as low as is comfortable — save even more on your energy bill when you use a programmable or smart thermostat.
ELECTRIC WATER HEATER
- Set your water heater temperature to 120°F.
- Consult the Energy label prior to purchasing appliances to get information on energy consumption and how much energy the appliance uses in comparison to similar models.
REFRIGERATOR & FREEZERS
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer full, even if you just use bottles of water. A full fridge uses less energy.
- Minimize opening and closing your refrigerator and freezer. Each time you open them, warm air rushes in causing appliances to work harder and use more energy.
- When you purchase a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator, consider recycling your old refrigerator. Storing your old refrigerator in a garage or other non-air conditioned space can damage the refrigerator and make it work much harder, costing you more money.
- Make sure the seals on your refrigerator and freezer are airtight.
- Keep the condenser coils on your refrigerator and freezer clean.
WASHERS, DRYERS, & DISHWASHERS
Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes.
- Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of the dryer.
- If your clothes dry a little stiff, use your dryer’s “fluff” cycle (before 3 or after 7 p.m.).
- Run washers, dryers, and dishwashers only when fully loaded.
- Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. The heat-dry setting uses more energy. It also heats up your home, which means more AC.
- Wash your laundry with cold water.
Don’t overfill your dryer.
- Dry your laundry loads back-to-back and clean the lint filter between loads. This way, your dryer is still hot from the previous load, and you save energy.
- Save money by letting the Texas heat dry your clothes.
- Unplug TVs and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this easy. Many electronics continue to use power even when they are switched off which can add 10% to your monthly utility bill.
- Use the "home" or "standard" setting on your TV to reduce the TV's energy usage by 18% to 30%.
- Unplug your phone charger and similar devices when charging is complete.
- Use ENERGY STAR set-top boxes which are 40% more efficient than conventional models.
Stream content on the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching.
- Watch out for video game consoles. They can be energy hogs! Streaming on your video game console can use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop.
- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or ENERGY STAR certified LED (light-emitting diode) lightbulbs. An ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulb uses up to 90% less energy than old incandescent bulbs and can save you more than $80 in electriciy costs over its lifetime.
- ENERGY STAR certified light fixtures use 70%-90% less energy, produce about 70% less heat than traditional models using incandescent light bulbs, and last about 15-25 times longer
- Using a small light when reading is more efficient than brightly lighting an entire room.
- Keep your light bulbs clean and free from dust.
- Use LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.
- Turn off lights when not in use.