Winter? Texas? Isn’t that an oxymoron? After all, it’s in Texas where the snowbirds gather when they want to escape the cold of northern winters. And the state woos them big time.
A typical ad might read:
Snowbirds get the best of both worlds: pleasant summers up north and temperate winters down south. Texas is so vast that snowbirds can find communities statewide. They can choose from a wide variety of environments. Whether urban dwellers, country lovers, or beach bums–all can find a winter home in Texas.
While that may be true, still and yet, Texas weather stands guilty of surprising all residents—permanent and temporary.
Certainly, no one wants to be reminded of the winter event of February 2021. Especially those who lived through it. The disaster occurred due to three severe winter storms that swept through the state barely a few days apart. This caused a horrendous energy infrastructure failure. Like falling dominoes, this then led to shortages of water, food, and power. Several million residents were without power during the coldest days. Hundreds of people lost their lives.
While that big freeze was an unprecedented disaster, it did serve as a good warning to always be on top of winter home preparation.
NOW Power Texas energy company wants to make sure their customers are safe throughout the winter—no matter what Texas’s erratic weather serves up. To do that, we here at NOW Power offer a few home energy-saving tips. Each one of these tips will show how to lower an electric bill.
Let’s begin by looking at the structure of your home. A good first step in how to lower electric bills in winter is to seal out the drafts. Doors and windows allow heat from your home to escape—more so than you might imagine. This is a simple fix by installing weatherstripping. A door sweep will work to seal the space between the bottom of the door and the door frame. Even those cute little door draft stoppers (some designed as stuffed animals) give a measure of protection against the cold.
Another step is to check your home’s insulation. This is an inexpensive way of winter home preparation. Adding insulation in the attic will serve to keep more heat in the living areas.
Check around electrical outlets and anywhere utilities enter your home and seal them. This can include plumbing, both to prevent heat from escaping and to protect pipes from potentially freezing. Quick and easy home energy-saving tips.
And speaking of plumbing all pipes that deliver hot water around the house can bleed energy. A simple fix is to add insulation to hot water pipes. Now the water is hotter, and you don’t have to let the water run as long while waiting for a hot shower. Again, such simple home energy-saving tips.
Even in Texas, people love to relax in front of a warm fireplace. But if you forget to close the damper, you will later lose heat as it escapes up that chimney. Yet a more winter energy-saving tip is to install a glass screen to make the fireplace more energy efficient. And further, consider switching wood-burning to gas which will save even more energy.
NOW Power advises their customers on how to lower their electric bills in winter is to use a smart thermostat. By programming the thermostat to turn down while you’re sleeping, or when you’re away, you’ll reduce your electric bill, but not give up your comfort.
Checking the air vents is yet another winter energy-saving tip. When heating vents are blocked by drapes or furniture, the furnace must work harder than it should. Blocked vents also increase air pressure in the ductwork. This pressure may create cracks or leaks. Is furniture sitting over a vent? The solution is to use a vent extender to direct the warm air out into the room.
You may be unaware of the waste that can be caused by the hot water heater—especially if it’s an older model. A good rule for how to lower your electric bills in winter is to set the temperature at 120 degrees. Further savings can be gained by adding a hot water heater “blanket.” This covering keeps in more heat and the heating element doesn’t run as often.
A good winter home preparation is to let old Mr. Sunshine help heat up your home. Opening and closing drapes and blinds strategically can save on energy bills in the winter. Open drapes to allow the daytime sun to shine in; then close them when it gets dark. Also, be sure to close the drapes and shades on all of your windows at night. This prevents drafts and slows the heat loss through the glass.
Is there an unused room in your house? Perhaps a guest room which is never used unless the company shows up. Or perhaps a spare room used for storage. No matter the reason, stop and think. Why waste valuable energy by heating it in winter? Block off the vents in the room and close the doors. No need to heat uninhabited space. This is an effective winter home preparation.
We know that ceiling fans help us stay cool in summer, but did you know that they can keep us warm in winter? Usually, ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise. This way they push air down and produce a slight chill effect. However, most ceiling fans have a reverse switch. A good winter home preparation tip is to reverse the flow. When turning clockwise, it produces an updraft and moves the warm air that collects near the ceiling down into the rest of the room.
One of the simplest home energy saving tips is to run full loads of laundry. Small, partial loads of laundry require as much energy as a full load. Multiple loads wind up using more power and water. If you run your machine only with a full load, it can add up to savings. While this is not specifically considered winter home preparation, still and yet, any step to save electricity is a boon in winter when usage is higher.
Using LED light bulbs can reduce electricity use in winter. LED bulbs are some of the most energy-efficient light sources. They use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer. Consider the number of light bulbs in your home; now envision how the savings can multiply. Great home energy saving tips.
It’s clear that many of these winter home preparation guidelines are easy to apply and yet all are effective. NOW Power has a mission not only to provide our customers with many prepaid electricity options but to also keep our customers appraised of tips and insights as to how to lower an electric bill. We care about your safety, your well-being, and your budget.