The climate of Texas varies greatly from one area to another because of its multiple climate zones. Summers have a typical subtropical climate and are hot and humid which results in high energy consumption. Though the Gulf Coast generally experiences mild winters, the winters are colder in the Panhandle areas.
Here are some ideas that save energy during the varied climatic conditions that occur around the year.
Keep the windows open during the night to let your room cool off if the place you live experiences cooler nights. But remember to close the windows in the morning to prevent the room from getting heated up during the day time.
You don’t need to solely rely on the air-conditioner for cooling purposes. You can choose to use an electric fan instead. It draws a lower amount of energy and is more than enough to keep your home cool during mild weather. Make it a point to switch off the fan when not in use; remember, fans cool people by removing the warm air that surrounds them and not the room itself.
You can prevent your room getting heated up by shading your windows with blinds or curtains from the inside. Planting coniferous trees near the windows also helps. The foliage blocks sunlight and has a mild cooling effect during summer, while the bare branches heat your rooms during the winter.
Tweak your lifestyle in such a way to schedule all the heat-generating tasks such as cooking, baking, running dishwashers and ironing for the evenings, nights or early mornings.
Make use of air and sunlight to dry dishes and clothes instead of using a dryer.
Be regular in cleaning, maintaining and replacing the filters of your air conditioner. This lets it work more efficiently.
Opt for light-colored, thin, loose and natural materials to let the air move freely. Use natural materials that absorb sweat like cotton instead of synthetic ones. You might be tempted to wear short clothes during summer, but remember – exposing your skin to the summer sun can cause UV skin damage, sunburn, blisters and rashes.
Whenever possible, set the thermostat of your air conditioner to the highest comfortable temperature. If you have a centralized AC system, then close the vents that lead to any unused rooms.
Insulate and weather-proof your home by sealing all the gaps between the window sills and walls, vents, walls, ceilings and even drainage pipes by caulking and weather-stripping. This prevents the heat from escaping and the cold from seeping into your home.
Make the most use of the sunlight through the south and southwest facing windows by letting the sunlight heat your home naturally. Do not forget to close the windows during the night. Cover the windows with a clear plastic film to reduce heat loss.
Set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable temperature possible during the daytime. You can further reduce the temperature by 5-10 degrees during the night. Make use of sweaters and blankets to keep yourself warm.
Maintain your heater and furnace on a regular basis to ensure that it is working efficiently. Clean or replace your furnace filters whenever needed.
Heat only the rooms you use by closing the vents that lead to rooms that are not being used.
Stay warm and cozy during winters with sweaters, socks and mittens. You can make use of blankets to keep yourself warm. Place an area rug on the floor to insulate the heat.
Moist-filled air keeps your home warm by holding heat for a longer time even if the thermostat is set at low temperatures. You can increase the moisture in the air by installing a humidifier. You can also place moisture producing plants in your house.
Opt for LED decorations instead of the traditional incandescent Christmas lights. These have a slight blueish hue that gives off a contemporary appeal. However, if you want the traditional warm feeling you can use candles instead.
If you are planning to bake your own cakes and cookies this Christmas, then make use of the microwave for tasks like melting chocolate, cream cheese or butter.
Fiber optic Christmas trees are a good option for saving energy. They are efficient as they use a single light source at the base.
Many of us have a habit of keeping the TV switched on during this season for background sound, for a festive feel. Switch off the TV when not in use to save energy.
There is no need to leave the holiday lights switched on ‘round the clock. You can switch them on during the night hours or set an automatic timer to do the same.