As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the costs of your Texas electricity plan, along with your water usage for the month. Amenities, such as dishwashers and central air, can enhance the comfort of your personal space and make daily tasks more convenient, but constant use can have an impact on your energy bill.
By learning ways to save energy and water around your home, you can also save money on your utility bills. Learn about measures you can take to minimize power consumption every time you press a button on an appliance and limit water use when you turn on a faucet.
1. Unplug Electronics You’re Not Using
Electronic devices can consume energy even when you’re not actively using them. Make a habit of powering down equipment around your home after you’ve completed a task. For example, you can unplug your toaster oven or air fryer once your food has finished cooking. Remember to disconnect your coffee machine from the socket before you walk away with your morning brew and make sure your blender is off and back in the cabinet as you pour your smoothie into your favorite tumbler.
Another contributor to your energy usage is the light bulbs in your lighting fixtures. Flick off the light switch in rooms you’re not in and unplug your reading lights and nightstand lamps until you’re in need of extra light. If you plan to be away from home for an extended period, such as a vacation, walk through your house to turn off all the lights and small appliances along with your air conditioner. You can also lower the temperature on your water heater to help conserve energy when you’re not home.
2. Alter the Temperature on the Thermostat
Check your thermostat throughout the day to ensure its temperature isn’t too hot or too cold for your home. During the hotter months of the year, consider slightly increasing the temperature so the thermostat isn’t using as much power to distribute cold air. Undergo a similar process during fall and winter. Rather than maximizing the high temperatures on your thermostat, use a setting that’s a degree or two lower. Altering the atmosphere in your home frequently can also help you preserve energy as the outside temperatures fluctuate from morning to night.
3. Install Energy-efficient Light Bulbs
Replace the incandescent light bulbs in your home with LED bulbs, which are more energy-efficient. LED light bulbs use less electricity to produce bright lights in your space, and you can enjoy enhanced visibility as soon as you turn on the bulbs. They’re also friendlier to the environment because they minimize the amount of carbon dioxide your home emits. Install LED light bulbs in all the lighting fixtures in your home.
4. Reseal Doors, Windows, and Appliances
Once you find an ideal temperature on the thermostat, it’s important to keep the cool air or the heat inside of your home. Examine the windows and doors for spots that allow the air to leak out. It may be time to reseal parts of your house by replacing the caulk around your windows. You can also apply weatherstripping to the frames on your doors, which provides insulation and prevents the air from slipping through any cracks.
Evaluate the temperature inside your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure there are no leaks that allow the cold air to seep out. If your thermostat settings don’t reflect the atmosphere in your house, check out the ventilation on your air conditioner to ensure it’s working properly. Be sure to also investigate how long it takes for your water to get hot. With proper insulation, your water heater needs a limited amount of energy to heat your water supply, illustrating another way to limit your energy consumption.
5. Open Air Vents
Air vents work with your air conditioner to distribute air around your home and keep your environment warm or cool. Find the location of the air vents in spaces you may spend a lot of time in, such as your bedroom and living room. Make sure the vents are open to allow the smooth passage of airflow. You can also rearrange your furniture so it’s not obstructing the ventilation. With effective circulation from the vents, your air conditioner exerts less power to maintain the temperature, which means you can save energy.
Ceiling fans also circulate air around the room to make the atmosphere feel cooler. Keep your ceiling fans on a low setting to save power and reduce your dependency on the thermostat to regulate the airflow. When cold weather emerges, reset your ceiling fan so that it spins counterclockwise. The direction drives air from the ceiling down to the floor, providing additional warmth in the room.
6. Monitor Water Usage
Save money on your utility bill by being mindful of how much water you use in your daily tasks. For example, during your nighttime routine, opt to take a shower since it requires less water than a bath. Avoid running the water in your shower for longer than necessary. You can also turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face at the sink.
In the kitchen, try to use the exact amount of water you need to cook food or make hot beverages. For example, as you prepare a kettle of tea, only boil the water that you need for the cup you plan to drink at that moment. This helps you avoid the need to reheat the water, which consumes energy.
7. Limit Use of Appliances
Your usage of appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers, can increase the amount of energy your home produces, which adds to the costs of your electricity rates. Monitor how you operate appliances in your home to make sure you’re not consuming unnecessary energy.
For instance, you can lower the temperatures on your refrigerator and freezer, choosing a setting that preserves the freshness and coolness of your food and drink items. The appliances can still work properly without needing to use as much power to stay cold inside. As you clean the rest of your kitchen, you can save water by inserting your dirty dishes and silverware into the dishwasher as they are instead of rinsing them off first. Also, you can wait until you’ve loaded your dishwasher to its capacity before enabling the appliance to start.
Laundry may show up frequently on your to-do list, but there are ways you can minimize the amount of power you’re using to complete this task. Clean your clothes and linens by setting the washing machine to run with cold or cool water rather than hot water. Once your garments are clean, consider hanging them out to dry on racks or clotheslines. If you prefer to use a tumble dryer, limit how long you keep your items inside to avoid using too much power.
You may like to use an iron or a dryer to even out wrinkles in your clothes. A different method that requires less energy is to hang the garments in the bathroom while you take a shower. The humidity that the hot water creates can help flatten the wrinkles in your garments so they’re ready for you to wear.
8. Invest in New Appliances
If you’ve owned your home appliances for a long time, such as a decade, then it may be time to replace them. Machines that use more modern technology may require less energy to function, which can help lower the balance due on your electricity bill. Think about investing in a new washing machine and dryer, for example, so you can clean several loads of laundry with more energy efficiency than your older appliances.
New equipment can also help you minimize the amount of water you use while completing daily tasks. When you wash a stack of dishes by hand, it may be challenging to visualize the gallons it takes to fill the sink with water and rinse every dish underneath the faucet. By using a dishwasher, you can ensure the appliance is using the same number of gallons to clean your dishes each time you start the cycle, which allows you to prevent potential waste.
You can also switch out your shower head for one with a WaterSense label, an indication that the product fulfills the standards that the Environmental Protection Agency establishes. A new shower head can deliver an efficient stream of water while prioritizing saving water.
9. Maximize Natural Light
Using ambient lighting and plugging in portable lighting tools, such as desk lamps and floor lamps, can contribute to a high electricity bill. An energy-efficient alternative is to rely on natural light to illuminate your indoor spaces. For example, if your home office has a window, you can raise or open the blinds to allow the sunshine to pour into the room, which helps you see your desk and computer without flipping on the light switch. Consider drawing back curtains and opening your windows to take advantage of the brightness that daytime offers. Save your general lighting usage for nightfall.
Another way to maximize natural light is to install solar panels on the roof of your house. The panels contain solar cells that transform power from the sun’s rays into energy for your home. Since Mother Nature provides sunlight free of charge, you can save money by relying on the sun to charge your electric devices instead of traditional sources of electricity.
The costs of setting up solar panels on your property vary depending on the size and model of the panel you’re seeking. Still, the investment can be worthwhile, as your Texas power rates decrease in the months and years following the initial installation.
10. And Finally, Conduct an Energy Audit
An energy audit determines how much electricity your home uses. The auditor will visit each room in your house to identify the sources of the most energy consumption. Next, you can receive suggestions on how to reduce the power so your energy bill can be less expensive. For example, if the auditor determines that activity in your laundry room has the biggest impact on your electricity costs, then you know to use hangers to air dry your shirts and pants rather than turning on the dryer. Look for electricity companies in Texas that conduct energy audits for residential properties.
Being mindful of your energy and water usage can ensure you have money in your wallet after you pay for your utilities. Operating your dishwasher, air conditioner, and dishwasher is necessary for maintaining the temperature and cleanliness of your home. However, you can still avoid waste, even with the daily use of your favorite appliances.
Advancing the technology in your house is another step that can mitigate the costs of your energy over time. Compare electricity rates in Texas with Home Energy Club so you can find a light plan that’s ideal for your home and budget.