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Lower Your Summer Electricity Bill By Sealing The Airy Leaks In Your Home

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.

4 Ways To Reduce Your Home Energy Use & Save Money This Summer

Keeping your home cool and your energy consumption low during the torrid months of summer is a challenge. The average household electricity bill for the June-through-August time period last year was a staggering $395, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The temps are climbing, and if you’re looking for ways to reduce your home energy use and save money, we’ve got some eco-friendly changes and upgrades you can make.

Seal and Insulate

If you have cracks and gaps in your foundation, windows or walls, you are letting cool, air-conditioned air escape and hot summer air in. Subsequently, your HVAC system is working harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Protect your home and wallet by ensuring these areas are properly sealed and your home is adequately insulated. Caulking around windows usually suffices, but if you have very old, rickety windows or window frames, replace them with energy-efficient ones. It’s one of the best things you can do to save energy.

Photo by Nieuw via Wikimedia Commons

Rethink Your Roofing

You won’t reduce your energy consumption by much if you don’t have a well-maintained, efficient roof. Depending on the climate, certain styles of roofing do better than others. In extremely hot climates, light-colored roofs help reflect the sun’s rays and keep your home cooler. Proper attic ventilation is a must—it removes warm air and moisture that cause your air conditioner to work harder and mold to grow.

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Upgrade Your HVAC System

Maintaining and regulating your home’s temperature accounts for more than half of your annual energy consumption costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you’re willing to replace your current heating and cooling system, these green HVAC technologies will significantly reduce your monthly costs.

Request your unit be placed in a sheltered, shaded area of your home to promote longevity and efficiency. If a replacement unit isn’t within your planned budget, you can still make the most of your current system by scheduling regular maintenance appointments and replacing your filters each month.

Employ the help of ceiling or freestanding fans during the summer months. Keep all doors and windows shut. When it starts cooling off outside, open those windows back up to allow for a nice cross-breeze—it’ll help keep your home at a comfortable level.

Photo by Achim Hering via Wikimedia Commons

Turn It off and Unplug

One of the easiest ways to reduce your home energy consumption: Always shut off and unplug your chargers, electronics and small appliances while you’re out during the day. There is no reason to keep everything plugged in, especially in light of the fact that these items continue to consume energy just by being plugged in. Make a habit of putting things away or storing items that are not receiving regular daily use.

Photo by Rennett Stowe via Wikimedia Commons