Brace yourselves, Cowtown — the Texas heat is in full swing.
Just before the first day of summer, ERCOT — the organization that operates the state’s electrical grid — issued a voluntary conservation notice as anticipated demand came perilously close to the grid’s power capacity.
To help you through the next, oh, five months or so, here are seven tips for saving energy during the summer.
Free: Turn up the thermostat while you’re away
The Department of Energy estimates setting your thermostat 7-10 degrees hotter when you leave the house can save as much as 10% of your energy bill per year. Note: If you have pets, make sure you’re still keeping temperatures in a safe range.
Free: Close your blinds
Close blinds in the rooms you’re not using to prevent sunshine from warming the temperature inside your home.
Unplugging electronics such as computers, chargers, and televisions after use can save as much as $200 per year in energy bills.
$5: Seal cracks and openings
$5: Make some upgrades
Swap out your lighting fixtures for energy-saving light bulbs, which use 75% less energy and last longer than old-school incandescent bulbs.
$20: Use fans to cool one room at a time
Rather than boosting the AC to cool your entire home at once, using ceiling, box, and standing fans are a much cheaper way to cool + circulate the air in the rooms you or your family are occupying.
$100: Service your AC
Before summer starts, swap your air filters, vacuum your air vents, and get a professional AC tune-up to make sure your cooling system is running at peak performance.