As Houston residents swelter through another hot summer, people are turning to air conditioners to bear the summer heat. Record-breaking demand has been predicted this summer by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), air conditioning accounts for about 12 percent of the average energy bill in the United States. People in Texas also spend 26% more on electricity compared than the national average.
And Houston residents consume more than most others in Texas., For example, the average electricity usage in Houston is 15,600 kWh a year, far higher than the average in Dallas, which is 11,255 kWh a year.
With inflation at 8.5%, Houstonians will be looking at ways to reduce their bills, so here are some tips to save on your cooling costs.
Tips to reduce your air conditioning costs
- Ensure your HVAC unit is maintained. Make sure to change your air filters and clean your air vents. Having your HVAC unit checked by a licensed technician is also worthwhile.
- Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day. The more sunlight you let into a room, the hotter it will become
- If you can, invest in energy-efficient windows. Double-paned windows will ensure your house is warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This means you will save on air conditioning costs as well as heating costs over winter.
- You can save up to 10% of your cooling cost by adjusting the temperature when you leave the house or when you are asleep. For example, increasing the thermostat by 7°-10°F can save 10% per year.
- When home, set the recommended temperature set your thermostat is 78°F. This is considered the perfect balance between comfort and energy consumption.
- Use the outdoor grill. Using a kitchen oven increases the temperature in your house.
- Shop around for the best electricity plan. In July, the average electricity rate in Houston is 18 cents per kWh, including delivery charges, based on 2000 kWh a month.
With homes in Houston consuming more energy due to the added humidity, it is important to try and reduce costs where possible.
What other tips do you have to reduce the cost of air conditioning? How are you coping with the Houston heat?
Please leave your comments below.