Surviving the rising temperatures in Texas is a struggle in itself. But paying for rising electricity prices may be a tougher battle than avoiding the summer scorchers. According to Forbes, Dallas and Houston are the top two cities when it comes to heftiest power bills. The blistering summer heat is the top perpetrator when it comes to an increase of electricity usage as residents crank up the AC to cool off. By sealing the air leaks throughout your home, you will save substantial funds and make a positive impact on the environment.
Super Mario Those Air Leaks
Air conditioners consume the most energy and are used extensively during the summer in Texas. Sealing those A/C leaks is the best way to reduce your bill. If you are on a budget you can save up to 30 percent on your energy bill by sealing those leaks. Energy.gov provides a detailed guide for a do-it-yourself home energy audit which involves identifying and sealing leaks along with checking insulation.
Seek Out Those Leaks
Do a quick walk through of your home to seek out areas where potential leaks may be occurring. Windows and doors are where leaks are most prevalent, but don’t forget to check out these often overlooked leaks:
· Electrical outlets and switches – Homeowners are often surprised by this, but electrical switches and outlets are major culprits when it comes to air leakage. Wires run from unsealed holes outside your home to a junction box that eventually leads to the outlets in your home. Prevent this type of leakage by buying an airtight junction box or replacing a decaying unit. These boxes can be purchased at any home improvement store, prices vary greatly so consider buying the upscale model since you may earn the money back with energy savings.
· Air Conditioners – Leaks from your HVAC system can result in a 25 to 30 percent energy loss. Finding these leaks can be difficult but are well worth the time. Consider using a blower door test to find them. A blower door test depressurizes a home so energy output can be recorded and is conducted by professionals when sealing air leaks.
· Hot Tub and Pool – Make sure to use an effective pool or spa cover. Hot Tub Works advises that the flimsy covers that often come standard with new products have a very low R-value and waste energy.
Seal Them Up
Once you have spotted the troublesome areas use caulk and weatherstripping to plug the airy holes. Be cognizant of which caulk you should be using when sealing your home. For example, silicone-based caulk would work better on bathtubs or tiles and butyl-based rubber would work better on windows. Energy.gov has a list of caulking materials and when they should be used.
Let the Professionals Take Care of It
If this sounds tedious you can have an audit done by a professional. Audits cost anywhere from $100 to $400, but they will provide you with a comprehensive report and provide you with sound recommendations ranging from simply sealing a few windows to completely replacing your AC system.
Sealing your home is a quick, cost-effective way of lowering your electricity bill before the Texas summer truly peaks. Whether you choose to do –it-yourself or employ the services of a professional make sure to take a look at the most uncommon spots for air leakage.