Weatherizing your home can help cut utility bill costs

POSTED: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 4:44pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

BRYAN -- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking that you cut down your energy use during peaks hours this week but a lot of people aren't happy about turning their air up to 86-degrees or not using their ovens.

Fox 28 got some tips on easier ways to cut down on energy, while still saving money.

Bryan Jones knows that asking Texans to turn their air up isn't going to go over well in this heat.

"In this kind of weather, that's hard too do and it's hard to keep it that way," said Jones, Administrator of Housing and Weatherization.

But keeping the air conditioning on 72 degrees is driving up bills, so more people are looking for energy-efficient ways to stay cool.

"It's making clients more aware of how energy efficient their houses are," said Jones. 

But one way to help inflating bills is to weatherize your home.

Jones said, "We want the heating and cooling system to get in front of the either hot or cold temperatures so we're trying to save every penny we can for the client by doing these measures."

Measures like; looking at wall, ceiling, floor and attic insulation and replacing older home appliances.

Air conditioning takes up about 35 percent of your energy use so it's recommended that when you leave your house, you turn your air up to 78 degrees, to help cut costs.

Doors and windows are another one of the easiest problem areas to fix.

"Anytime you let air come into your home that you're going to have to re-cool or re-heat, that's a big situation and it's very inexpensive to fix so caulking and foam striping is huge," said Jones.

You can also save money by unplugging items you're not using, buying energy-efficient shower heads and light bulbs.

By taking these small steps, Jones says you can expect to save anywhere from 10 to 40 percent on your bills.


Some other weatherizing tips include:

•Replace your return air filter at least once a month.
•Wear lighter clothing and use fans to help circulate air for greater comfort.
•Use lower wattage and compact fluorescent bulbs and turn off lights when not in use.
•Do heat producing tasks, (cooking, laundry, dishwashing) in early morning or late evening.
•Close blinds and shades to reduce heat gain in windows that receive direct sunlight.
•Open windows and use fans instead of air conditioning on cooler days.
•Use exhaust fans to remove heat and moisture from bath, kitchen and laundry areas.
•Set your water heater's temperature at 120 degrees. (Electric water heaters require that both elements be reset - unplug first!)
•Use your microwave rather than your oven whenever possible.
•Check weather-stripping on doors and windows and replace or repair when necessary.
•Wash and dry full loads of clothing and clean lint filters after each use.


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