Summer is typically an energy-intensive season in South Central Texas. With all your cooling needs and indoor activities, your electricity bill may show a significant increase during hotter months. While we can’t control the weather, here are seven tips for helping save money on summertime electric bills.

1. Use Fans Instead of Your AC When Possible

If you’ve got ceilings fans in your home and/or portable fans, you can use these to ease the load on your AC during hot, sticky weather. Fans don’t actually lower the room temperature, but evaporate the moisture on your skin, making you feel between four and six degrees cooler. This allows you to lower the temperature on your thermostat, requiring less energy to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature. Because fans don’t lower the temperature, though, be sure to turn them off when no one is in the room; otherwise, they become a waste of energy.

2. Use Blackout and Reflective Drapery to Block Sun Rays

The sun hitting your house can contribute to raising the inside temperature. Try replacing your curtains or drapes with ones that reflect and block sunlight better.

3. Use LED Lighting

LED lights produce much less heat than incandescent bulbs, and they last significantly longer. If you find yourself needing more lighting after blocking out the sun, use LEDs to prevent the heat gain caused by conventional bulbs.

4. Use SmartHub

Smart is an online and mobile energy management portal created to allow GVEC members to gain insights into their in-home power usage. This energy tracking tool provides greater understanding into your energy usage by revealing how much electricity you use by the hour, day, week, month or year. SmartHub won’t tell you how you use electricity, but it will allow you to spot times of day and year when your energy usage spikes and when its lower. This information can help you determine what activities cause increases and spikes, at what times of day, enabling you to modify your schedule and habits in ways to help lower consumption.

5. Smart Electronics Use

At GVEC, we regularly advise our members to take control of their “energy vampires.” What’s an energy vampire? These devices continue drawing electricity even when powered “off.” Electronics and appliances are notorious for falling into this category.

The best way to completely power down such energy drainers is to plug multiple vampires into a single power strip and turn off the strip before leaving home. Doing so will help keep energy suckers truly turned off when not in use. Also, if you have electronics such as a computer or stereo near your air conditioning thermostat, the heat from such equipment may cause your AC to assess the temperature as hotter than it is. This will make the air conditioner work harder than necessary. If possible, keep devices that generate significant heat away from the thermostat.

6. Use Cold Water

Most of the energy consumed by washers is for heating the water they use. However, modern washing machines and detergents are advanced enough to clean clothes in cold water. Try washing clothes in cold water unless warm or hot is absolutely necessary.

Additionally, up to 30 percent of the average electric bill can be attributed to the in-home hot water heater—something to consider the next time you want to take a hot shower on a cold winter day to warm up.

7. Use Your Thermostat Wisely (And Get a Nest® Through GVEC Home)

Always be sure to adjust your thermostat temperature when leaving home for an extended period of time. Doing so helps you avoid wasting energy when you’re away.

We suggest considering a Nest Thermostat® from GVEC Home. We sell two Nest models—the Nest Learning Thermostat® and the Nest Thermostat E®. With one of these thermostats connected to your HVAC system, you won’t have to worry about adjusting the temperature before leaving home. These devices create a usage schedule based on your habits and “learn” to adjust the temperature on their own, without additional input. Plus, as a GVEC member, you’ll get special savings on both the thermostat and on installation when you purchase through GVEC Home and join Rush Hour Rewards.

For all Your AC/Heating Needs, Call GVEC Home

GVEC Home offers a complete line of heating and cooling products and services throughout Gonzales, Schertz, Seguin, La Vernia, Cuero, and the surrounding areas. For information on any of our products and services, call today at 877.466.5506.

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