Winter might have sunk its claws into the land of Westeros (spoiler alert!), but Texas temperatures will continue to rise this summer. And after spending a hot day outdoors, stepping inside an oven-like house would be the last thing you would want during summer. One solution? Leave your air conditioner on for longer hours than usual while you’re away. But is that really the most responsible reaction to keeping cool?
Electricity Prices Increase During Summer
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) explains most consumers pay electricity rates depending on the seasonal cost of electricity. Certain factors affect the changes in prices, including the demand for electricity, generation sources availability, fuel costs, and the availability of a power plant.
Electricity demand is usually high in summer, increasing the prices due to the added costly generation sources that help meet the demand. Additionally, the higher the temperature outside, the more you would use your cooling system, forcing it to work harder. The next thing you know, your electricity has inflated big time.
Fortunately, you can expect to pay lower electricity bills this summer due to projected cooler temperatures. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says that a usual American household is likely to use about 3,100-kilowatt hours of electricity between June and August — five percent lower than the previous year’s amount.
Keep Your Energy Bill Low while Staying Cool
Despite the good news of possible lower electricity prices, it pays to prepare your home for the summer, too. Several techniques contribute to making your home cooler and a comfortable environment.
Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home is a rewarding investment. It works well in preventing heat from entering your home to keep it cool longer. You can insulate your walls or your attic to regulate the temperature in your home.
The DOE explains that insulation has different types, including blanket, spray foam, and loose fill, among others. Identifying the area that needs insulation, and the recommended R-value (the ability of a material to resist conductive heat flow) for your area can guide you in choosing the right insulation.
Investing in fiberglass insulation in Houston helps reduce utility costs while enhancing your comfort. Hire an insulation technician to ensure proper installation; otherwise, the system won’t be effective.
Add Window Treatments
Sunlight enters your home through your windows, which heats up the room. Use blinds or shutters that allow you to control the amount of light that enters the room to counteract this. Adding energy efficient window treatments helps increase your energy savings while providing extra privacy. Meanwhile, medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings minimize heat gains by about 33 percent.
Grow Outdoor Plants
Having more trees and plants in your backyard is a good decision all around. For instance, a study suggests that living in an area with green spaces reduces your risk for heart diseases and lowers your levels of stress. Trees and plants around windows provide shade, as well, which reduces the direct heat of the sun. They can also improve the circulation of air flow in your area.
This option requires a significant investment of your time. Its benefits, however, translates to long-term gain so the wait would definitely be worth it. Work with professional landscapers for the best results.
Like in Game of Thrones, you need to have a strategy to attain favorable outcomes when the weather turns against you. Early preparation is essential, so you’re ready to beat the heat when summer comes.